Atale of two ex­tremes

Friday - - Editor’s Letter -

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,

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