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Obesity in Arab Countries


Obesity in Arab CountriesObesity has now become a major problem here in the Arab Countries. Over 60% of local Nationals are overweight and this figure is expected to rise. The number of overweight or obese adults and children has continued to increase and is a trend that is not slowing down. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), it is predicted that there will be over 2.3 billion overweight and 700 million obese individuals by 2015.

The biggest effect of obesity is for the individual, as being overweight or obese can lead to heart disease, diabetes and many other health issues. Life expectancy is reduced by as much as 10-12 years for people that are morbidly obese. For people who are obese, it is inevitable that their quality of life suffers, as it is difficult to enjoy exercise or to move around freely. Another consequence is the lack of self-esteem. This can lead to depression, eating disorders and crash diets.

Another consequence of obesity is that the country of residence is also affected due to the fact it becomes very expensive for the government to provide advanced medical care such as heart transplants or other healthcare provision for certain individuals. .

Height Obesity Point
Ft/inches Meters Pounds Kilos
4.10
4.11
5.0
5.1
5.2
5.3
5.4
5.5
5.6
5.7
5.8
5.9
5.10
5.11
6.0
1.47m
1.50m
1.52m
1.55m
1.57m
1.60m
1.63m
1.65m
1.68m
1.70m
1.73m
1.75m
1.78m
1.80m
1.83m
143 pounds
148 pounds
153 pounds
159 pounds
164 pounds
169 pounds
175 pounds
180 pounds
186 pounds
191 pounds
197 pounds
203 pounds
209 pounds
215 pounds
221 pounds
65.0kg
67.3kg
69.5kg
72.3kg
74.5kg
76.8kg
79.5kg
81.8kg
84.5kg
86.8kg
89.5kg
92.3kg
95.0kg
97.7kg
100.4kg

Cultural Influences of Obesity in Arab Countries

Traditional dress in the Middle East is a contributing factor of obesity due to the wearing of loose, flowing garments such as the dish-dash or abayas. Excess weight gained goes relatively unnoticed as they are not wearing close fitting garments such as jeans or shirts. Often when clothes become tight, it signals a warning to control calorie intake but this may not occur if there are no limiting factors.

Due to extremely high weather temperatures up to 50 degrees, for a large part of the year, outdoor activities may be limited and therefore entertainment is often provided at home sat in front of the television. Inactivity and boredom can lead to excessive calorie consumption resulting in weight gain. In this climate, cars are used frequently to drive very short distances and exercise is not undertaken.

Being overweight is widely perceived in Arab countries, as well as African and Mediterranean countries, as being a sign of good health and financial success. In order to be effective, any strategies to promote health and prevent lifestyle-driven health conditions such as diabetes must challenge important socio-cultural obstacles.

Many religious occasions, such as fasting for Ramadan and the subsequent celebrations at the end of Ramadan, bring about altered eating habits. For Ramadan, Muslims fast for the Holy Month of Ramadan which may predispose to overeating leading up to the fasting month.


 
 
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