Your body is a reflection of your lifestyle
Obesity is on the rise globally and UAE is not faring well compared to other countries. More than 2.1 billion people—close to 30 per cent of the global population—today are overweight or obese, according to the World Health Organisation.
Up to 60.5 per cent of residents in the UAE are either overweight or obese.
BMI is a weight for height index commonly used to classify underweight, overweight and obesity in adults. While a BMI range of 18.5 to 25 is considered normal, 25 to 30 is classified as overweight, and anything over 30 is categorised as obese.
47.5 per cent of UAE residents are overweight while another 13 per cent are obese with a BMI of over 30. The average BMI in the UAE is 25.6, implying the average resident is overweight.
BMI levels tend to increase as people age. While 35 per cent of residents aged between 20-24 were found to be overweight or obese, that figure rose to 53 per cent among 30-34 year-olds, 71 per cent among 45-49 year-olds and 86 per cent among those aged between 60 and 64.
Differences were also noted between genders, with 70 per cent of men either overweight or obese with an average BMI of 26.4. For women in the UAE, the average stands at 24.2, with 41 per cent of women classified as overweight or obese.
48 per cent of critical illness claims in the Middle East over the past three years are linked to heart-related diseases often caused by having a high BMI.
According to the World Health Organization, at least 2.8 million people die each year due to being overweight or obese.
A high BMI increases the risk of many health problems including cardiovascular diseases, mainly heart disease, diabetes and some cancers. However, overweight and obesity, as well as their related diseases, are largely preventable. In extreme circumstances, behavioral treatment and counseling, medications, electric stimulus devices and bariatric surgery are methods that can reduce obesity. These complications can be avoided in the first place by eating a healthier choice of foods and taking regular physical activity.