A mod­ern epi­demic

Friday - - Friday Society Living Leisure - RACHEL FOY, DUBAI SAN­JEEV CHAD­DHA, DUBAI ANU­RADHA B, VIA EMAIL

I be­lieve ed­u­ca­tion and life­style change are re­quired to halt the epi­demic of di­a­betes (‘Di­abesity: the new global epi­demic’, Novem­ber 15).

I work as a weight-loss coach at a holis­tic cen­tre in Dubai and use hyp­nother­apy and NLP tech­niques to help over­weight teenagers who are des­per­ate to lose weight.

In my ex­pe­ri­ence, I’ve re­alised it is a far more com­plex is­sue than sim­ply where they live.

Very of­ten emo­tional eat­ing is the main rea­son be­hind a teenager’s bat­tle with weight-re­lated health prob­lems. If a teenager is un­able to cope with emo­tional stress, they may use food as a way to make them­selves feel bet­ter.

Prob­lems or pres­sure at school, in so­ci­ety or at home within the fam­ily all con­trib­ute to the emo­tional chal­lenges that an adolescent faces. They seek com­fort in food, gain weight and a vi­cious cir­cle be­gins.

I think it is vi­tal that chil­dren are taught the ba­sics of food and nu­tri­tion from an early age so they un­der­stand com­pletely that they are what they eat. I was hor­ri­fied when I read about the shock­ingly high rate of di­a­betes in the Mid­dle East. To think that al­most 20 per cent of the pop­u­la­tion suf­fers from it made me re­ally ner­vous about our fu­ture.

We all know of peo­ple who are suf­fer­ing from the con­di­tion but never think that it could one day af­fect us if we are not care­ful about what we eat and the way we live.

As par­ents and re­spon­si­ble cit­i­zens, we should com­mit to lead­ing a healthy life that in­cludes mak­ing healthy choices when we go out to eat and ex­er­cis­ing reg­u­larly.

We need to be role mod­els for our chil­dren so they fol­low in our foot­steps and re­alise the im­por­tance of healthy liv­ing. I thought the ar­ti­cle on FOMO – the fear of miss­ing out – was very in­ter­est­ing (‘Have you got FOMO?’ Novem­ber 15). I feel all of us are not only sur­rounded by peo­ple who are suf­fer­ing from this mod­ern epi­demic, thanks to so­cial me­dia, but it also af­fects us at some point.

I am con­stantly post­ing pic­tures on In­sta­gram and tweet­ing about ev­ery lit­tle de­tail that’s hap­pen­ing around me just so I don’t feel left out. I ad­mit that in the ppro­cess I’ve be­gun to em­bel­lish the truth just so my friends think I’m al­ways hav­ing a fun time.

Some­times I’d love to just sit in front of the TV and re­lax! But of course I can’t – be­cause I’d prob­a­bly miss out on all the ex­cite­ment.

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