Browsing 'obesity' News

your health first

In last few years the country has witnesses increase in modernisation and economic development. This further led to change in eating habits with increased unhealthy and unhygienic eating is considered as “epidemiological transition”.

In the past, obesity and diabetes were a big problem, WHO World Health Survey for Qatar (2006) recorded that residents of Qatar suffer from high prevalence of diabetes, hypertension, due the changed unhealthy eating habits and patterns. The survey indicated that almost 40% of the population is currently was obese and diabetes prevalence in the country., However, in the last 5 years people in Qatar have taken a turn of healthy living with a rise in gyms, diet and healthy restaurants, and more healthy options in supermarkets.

In the similar direction Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MEE) has now associated with Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q) to promote sustainable living and healthy eating habits with its strategic program Sahtak Awalan – ‘Your Health First’.

Under this association MEE will extend all expertise and support to its program ‘Your Health First’. ‘Project Greenhouse’ is an important project that runs under WCM-Q programme ‘Your Health First.’ Which has already gifted greenhouses, seeds, and gardening equipment to 130 schools across Qatar to teach students how to grow a wide variety of fruit, vegetables, and herbs.

The project aims at connecting young children with the environment at the same time making them feel the importance of eating fresh produce for good health, and valuable lessons about environmental sustainability.

The association will now expand to project to more schools and make greenhouses is them with technical, material and scientific assistance for its next five year phase. The produce from these greenhouses will be offered for general sale to the community in Qatar at specially created market stalls, at good value prices, with all revenues from sales to be reinvested in the project to expand further.

The programme is much appreciated by various government authorities as this partnership will actively involve the community in the project and it is expected to create the required awareness and desired impact on a healthy and sustainable lifestyle in the country.


Video still

Ministry of Public Health advertisement

A new report analyzing the health data of some 5,000 Qataris and longterm residents has painted a grim picture of the nation’s population as overweight, inactive and lacking Vitamin D.

The data, which the Qatar Biobank began collecting five years ago, found that more than 70 percent of the population is either overweight and obese.

Additionally, 83 percent get little to no regular physical exercise. And more than 45 percent of those surveyed said they consume fast food more than three times a week.

Sam Agnew/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Also, a whopping 86 percent of people have been diagnosed with Vitamin D deficiency.

The 2016 report was presented at a conference this week.

The health data was comprised almost equally of men and women, the majority of whom were 25 to 34 years old.

Health crisis

According to the biobank, more than 80 percent of those who submitted blood and other samples were unaware of any health problems.

Some 16 percent were diagnosed with diabetes, and more than 40 percent of those studied were referred to Hamad Medical Corp. for medical advice after abnormalities were found.


Women’s Hospital

The analysis mirrors the results of a 1,200-strong sample the biobank conducted in 2015. This suggests that awareness campaigns are not convincing people to make significant lifestyle changes.

That said, Dr. Nahla Afifi, the biobank’s acting director, said the data has spurred her organization to expand its mandate beyond conducting research.

In a statement, she said:

“Chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, hypertension and diabetes are emerging as significant health problems and are now the major cause of death and disability in Qatar…

(The biobank now) also plays an important role in early identification and prompt treatment of chronic non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, which will reduce the future burden in health sector.”


Previously, the biobank said it aims to collect 60,000 samples by 2018-2019.

Individuals who participate are asked to fill out a questionnaire and provide blood, saliva and urine samples.

jomilo75 / Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Researchers also record a volunteer’s height, weight and blood pressure during the process, which takes approximately three hours. All the data is kept confidential.

Those who wish to volunteer are asked to fill out an online form. They can also call 4454-1177, or send an email to [email protected]

Participants must be above the age of 18 and either be a Qatari national or have resided in the country for at least 15 years.


Ministry of Public Health ad

Video still

Ministry of Public Health ad

With reporting from Heba Fahmy

A new government campaign to encourage people in Qatar to become more active is employing guilt to get its message across.

This month, the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) has launched videos, billboards and newspaper ads showing families in crisis.

In them, young children try to get their parents to play with them, but both mother and father are too tired and opt to stay on the couch and watch TV, eating snacks.

Over the course of the 48-second clip, the parents quickly gain weight and become increasingly exhausted and unhappy with their appearance and health.

The video ends with the message, “Stay with your family, be active…our future is in our health.”

Other ads emphasize personal responsibility:

Ministry of Public Health ad


Ministry of Public Health ad

In the above newspaper advertisement, residents are urged not to their “laziness” get in the way of their health.


The prevalence of obesity and related illnesses such as diabetes in Qatar has become a huge concern for health officials.

Some 42.3 percent of adults in Qatar are obese – the highest rate in the Gulf (which has an average of 36.7 percent).

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Felicia Åkerman/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Because many people are living longer but with more costly illnesses such as diabetes, Qatar is expecting to be contending with a larger, older and sicker population in the coming years, according to analysts.

The nation’s health spending is thus projected to double to US$8.8 billion by 2020, Alpen Capital’s GCC Healthcare Industry report 2016 said last month.