Kuwaitis must change eating habits to fight widespread obesity

August 23, 2010

Nutrition experts in Kuwait have called for a deep review of eating habits after a study showed that 70 per cent of all Kuwaiti men and 75 per cent of Kuwaiti women were overweight.

“There is a need to examine the eating habits and to look into the causes of widespread diseases and illnesses, namely diabetes, obesity, cardiac troubles and high blood pressure,” Dr Suad Al Houti, a researcher at the department of nutrition and food at the health ministry said. “Such knowledge is vital to change the wrong eating habits.”

The study, conducted by the department of food resources at Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) in coordination with the health ministry, was designed to examine Kuwaitis’ feeding regime and the linkage of eating habits and types of food, with some widespread diseases, Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) reported.

The study was applied on a sample representing 1,693 families picked up from the country’s six governorates. The sample comprised 7,547 Kuwaitis, aged between five and 50.

Findings showed that the proportion of overweight reached 35 per cent for males and 28 per cent among the females. However, the proportion among the adults was as high as 70 percent among males and 75 percent among the females.

“Those suffering from diabetes amounted to 15 per cent. Its spread among the females was slightly higher than among the males. However, its proportion among those aged 50 stood at 50 per cent,” the study concluded.

More than 22 per cent of the males and 27 per cent of the females suffer from low metabolism and 30 per cent suffer from high cholesterol which reached 60 per cent among the females aged 50 and above.

Anemia among the women stood at 28 per cent for the category aged between 20 and 49, and at 23 per cent for the 50 plus age category.

“The study showed excessive consumption of proteins, fats and carbohydrates among the nationals, and that intakes of health ingredients such as fibers and omegas were less than the required,” Al Houti said. “There was also a sharp drop of intakes of vitamins d, h, G and B.”

More than 50 percent of the sample suffered depletion of calcium, zinc and magnesium.

According to Al Houti, eating habits in Kuwait should be reviewed with greater emphasis on the diversification of ingredients.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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