Children's Attitude to Obesity Changing in the UAE


Fraser Clarke

A new study into attitudes of children towards their health in the UAE has found that awareness of healthy lifestyles is at an all time high.

The work, conducted by Oman Insurance, Bupa and YouGov, showed that 84% of young people in the country are aware of the links between obesity and junk food. Likewise 87% of people are now aware that diabetes requires additional medical care.

In a country where youth obesity rates sit at almost 40%, the role of the parent was also examined - and the results were decisive.

62% of children named their parents as their most important role model, whilst 60% would consume a healthier diet if it was controlled by their parents.

It wasn’t all positive however, with 24% of the 249 respondents claiming that they believed watching television or reading a book counted as exercise.

Despite this however Karim Idilby, Bupa’s General Manager for the MENA and India region said: “The level of awareness of healthy living among the children surveyed is surprisingly high given the rising UAE obesity rate.

"However, there are still noteworthy gaps that need to be addressed to help children and their families live longer, healthier and happier lives.”

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