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70% of Saudis are obese
Published in Bikya Masr on 13 - 03 - 2011

Approximately 70 percent of Saudis are obese, announced the head of Saudi Arabia's obesity research unit.
Ayed al-Qathany, medical professor and head of the obesity research team at King al-Saoud University, added that 36 percent of Saudis are morbidly obese, in addition to adding that 3 million children in the Kingdom are obese, reported local newspaper Al Reyad.
Young people are estimated to comprise more than 50 percent of the Kingdom's population. Nearly 30 percent of the population is under the age of 14.
Al-Qathany said the number breaks down to 70 percent of Saudi men and 75 percent of women are obese. He added that this rate of obesity leads to more serious illnesses that affect those who are obese, such as heard and blood diseases, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, gallstones, diabetes, inflammation and joint pain, respiratory diseases, and even mental illness in addition to certain types of cancer.
Fast food consumption and lack of regular exercise are principal reasons for the world's obesity epidemic, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO published studies that warned there could be over 2.3 billion overweigh adults by 2015 and over 700 million people will suffer from obesity.
The WHO defines overweight and obesity as “abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health.”
Obesity is measured by the body mass index (BMI), the weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in meters (kg/m2), which is a commonly used index to classify obesity in adults. WHO defines overweight as a BMI equal to or more than 25, and obesity as a BMI equal to or greater than 30.
According to the WHO, at least 2.6 million people die each year as a result of being overweight or obese. 29 percent of global deaths due to cardiovascular diseases, and 220 million people worldwide have diabetes.
Saudi was not listed on the WHO's list of the fattest nations in the world, released in late 2010, but Egypt came in at number 5 with a staggering 66 percent obesity. Egypt came in number 5 with a staggering 66 percent of the population are obese. The only other Middle East nation on the list was Israel, with 61.9 percent of Israeli suffering from obesity.
Poor eating habits and the spread of junk food are again main reasons behind Egypt's high obesity numbers.
With a population of around 82 million, Egypt is ranked number 15 in the most populated countries in the world. The study mentioned Egyptian women to carry heavier wight than men due to limited outdoor activity available to women and lack of exercise.
BM


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