Obesity declines in Qatar on shift to healthy lifestyle
Doha, July 18, 2014
The increase in health and fitness awareness has resulted in a decline of obesity as more and more residents of Qatar shift to a healthier lifestyle, according to a recent study.
The Zarca Interactive health and fitness study found that the people opting for a healthy lifestyle nearly doubled to 40 per cent in Qatar, compared to 21 per cent surveyed in a previous study.
Obesity has declined to 16 per cent, compared to 22 per cent in the previous study, it said.
It showed a major shift in lifestyle among the Qatar population, a third of which are obese, according to a report by the UN last year that ranked populations in the Gulf among the world’s ‘fattest.’
Javed Farooqui, Zarca Interactive executive director and head of Middle East and Africa, said: “Almost 70 per cent of respondents have moved from an unbalanced diet to a more balanced one with proper nutrition, a major shift from our previous studies.”
About 58 per cent of respondents exercise between one to three times per week, with walking being the favourite fitness activity with 70 per cent, followed by running and weight training among males.
About 72 per cent of respondents prefer to surf the internet to have more information about health and fitness topics compared to 66 per cent who prefer to watch health and fitness TV programmes, said the study.
Meanwhile, about 19 per cent found the information on products’ packs very informative and can be a good source for health information as they have good tips.
Zarca Interactive, a leading provider of next generation information gathering and data analysis technology, conducted this study during last quarter last year using different social media platforms.
The 5th nation-wide online health independent study has been conducted since 2009 in Qatar witnessed the participation of about 129 respondents across different cities, aged between 16 and 55 year across different gender split.
“Zarca’s health and fitness study results have shown that as the country is investing in sponsoring many public health campaigns, there is a noticeable increase in the number of respondents who are getting consciously aware of the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle combined with getting physically active and fit,” Farooqui said.
“Many respondents are changing major eating habits reducing junk food intake and replacing it with eating healthy food such as fruits, vegetables and low fat dairy products”.
About 63 per cent of respondents have expressed that healthy eating should comprise a mixture of carbohydrates, protein and fats, while 42 per cent of respondents prefer to consume low - fat food options, especially when it comes to dairy products.
Fruits are considered to be the most important daily component for a healthy diet, as about 63 per cent of respondents consume them on a daily level. Other daily food options for respondents included high carbohydrate food such as rice, pasta and bread; leafy vegetables; chicken; and nuts. - TradeArabia News Service