According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “obesity is one of today’s most blatantly visible – yet most neglected – public health problems.”
Regionally, in the Middle East, the percentage of obese men and women is 13 percent and 24.5 percent, respectively. Additionally, some 70 percent of UAE residents are classed as overweight or obese and Kuwaiti women are placed 5th in worldwide obesity.
In an effort to stamp out the rampant rise of obesity in the United Arab Emirates, leading American Bariatric surgeon Dr. Carson Liu is set to open his first clinic in Dubai on May 21 because, as he says, “there is a need in this field and in this area.”
Dr. Carson Liu explains that the reason the United Arab Emirates is facing this health issue is because they have access to richer food.
“In affluent societies there is easy access to rich and high calorie foods, there also tends to be a lack of exercise add that to the terrible heat that is prevalent in the Middle East and it all contributes to a sedentary lifestyle,” he explains
He also says the influence of the West is heavily to blame for the United Arab Emirates current predicament.
“I believe it is influence of the Western diet and lifestyle, ” he says. “Now that westernized fast food is globalized, it is now common that many meals consist of fried high fat foods that aren’t indigenous to what was once a Middle Eastern diet that consisted of a lot of vegetables and legumes.”
Diabetes, he explains has also become an issue.
“Diabetes and obesity go hand-in-hand as we have seen in the United States with children and teenagers,” he says. “Every society is dealing with altered intake of high calorie foods with a sedentary lifestyle
And his reason for opening his clinic is simple: Drastic problems require drastic solutions.
“Surgeries are definitely one of those that can help combat diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea and hypertension,” Dr Liu says. “These are health issues that are easily avoidable if only people would be more aware of what they are putting in their mouths and how much they are eating.”
For more information about Dr. Liu, click here.