Muscat: The number of people suffering from obesity in Oman has jumped by over 50 per cent as compared to 2017. This figure also includes those who are deemed overweight.
According to the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI), in 2018, there were a total of 119 new cases recorded in Oman.
“(This is) an increase of 50.6 per cent over 2017,” the NCSI said in a statement, which was released to coincide with World Obesity Day, which was observed on Friday.
“Now-a-days, many of the younger generation are obese as they don’t do enough physical activity,” said a cardiologist at a leading hospital in Oman. “They follow a sedentary lifestyle and do not care enough about their diet which can lead to many problems within the heart. They become obese, a condition that leads to the development of diabetes, heart disease, blood pressure and cholesterol abnormalities.
“However much we counsel them to reduce their body mass index (BMI) to below 25, they don’t listen, and some of them have BMIs that go up to 30 and even 35,” added Dr Soman. “35 is simply far too high, but we have a lot of youngsters whose BMI is even more than that. Unfortunately, there are a lot of young people who don’t bother about their condition even if their BMI is so high.”
Another dietary specialist said, “Because of poor lifestyle choices, an increase in fast food habits and a lack of exercise, adolescent obesity and childhood obesity is on the rise,” he said. “Conditions such as hypertension, high cholesterol, all of these things are being seen in people in their early twenties. Earlier, this would only affect people in their late 30s and early 40s.”
“Just a few days ago, we had a child who suffered from heart problems, and the excuse the mother gave us for this was that he was always in front of the PlayStation and never went out to play,” he added. “That is a sure shot recipe for childhood obesity. Children must be encouraged to play outside from an early age and must not become addicted to an unhealthy lifestyle and fast food habits.”