Atale of two extremes
Every so often the obesity epidemic in the UAE makes the headlines and we all shudder at the prospect of future generations suffering from diabetes and other weight-related health problems. Sixty per cent of women and 66 per cent of men here are overweight, according to the latest research, and we are advised to eat better, exercise and make sure our families are healthy. Quite rightly, we as parents follow the examples set by the authorities, health officials and schools to teach our children to eat properly and shun ‘bad’ – by which we mean fattening – food.
But dig a little deeper and there’s another equally disturbing trend emerging – the rise of eating disorders in the UAE. The figures are shocking. A survey done at Al Ain University discovered that 1.8 per cent of girls aged from 13 to 19 are anorexic. That’s almost twice as many as in Britain. Bulimia is also on the increase while binge-eating, purging and starvation all carry serious health risks that can even lead to premature death through associated complications such as heart problems.
So is the focus on food, body image and weight harming our children and how do we get it right? Read our report on page 16 and let us know what you think of our body issue, which covers every aspect of selfimage and how to look and feel your best.
Until next week,