Dubai-based Maya Smith has received a letter from her teenage son’s school stating that he is obese and that the body mass index (BMI) needs to be controlled. He fights weight problems due to wrong eating habits and has symptoms of diabetes. She is a working mother and the challenge is to consistently provide healthy food, from breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner. This is just one example of an emerging area of concern in the UAE.
Following industrialization and mechanization, the incidence of obesity and diabetes doubled. These twin problems tend to occur together leading to the use of the new term “diabetes”. Four decades ago, type 2 diabetes was a disease of middle-aged and elderly people, ranging from 40 to 60 years.
“The main cause of diabetes is a rapidly changing lifestyle. With increased use of tools, changing dietary habits, decreased physical activity, irregular lifestyles, inadequate sleep and increased mental stress levels, the incidence of diabetes has increased dramatically. Every five people over the age of 20 suffer from Diabetes, the incidence rate is much higher in the UAE compared to the United States, and to make matters worse, the problem is now beginning at a younger age, during adolescence, and this trend in the early onset of diabetes is considered a very bad sign for society. For children with serious health problems such as heart attacks in the early 1930s, while a person settles properly in life and begins to contribute to society, these children are fully engaged in providing endocrinology consultant at Zulekha Hospital.
“According to data published by the World Health Organization, 41 million children under the age of five are overweight or obese. Moreover, if you look at children and adolescents between the ages of 5 and 19, WHO data show that more than 340 million children Dr. Amal Yacoub added that these figures indicate an increase in the incidence of obesity among the younger age groups, and this is worrying because these young children and adolescents may develop not only diabetes but other problems such as high blood pressure and ischemic heart disease and others. Ayed Madanat, Consultant Endocrinologist DONC, Ras Al Khaimah Hospital.
“The world is experiencing an obesity epidemic, which is a chronic disease simply because it leads to many complications. Obesity complications include high blood pressure, diabetes, ischemic heart disease, increased risk of cancer, mood disorders, reproductive and fat disorders, liver disease and joint problems: the close relationship between obesity and the development of disease. Diabetes led to the introduction of the term “diabetes. This is because we want to emphasize the relationship. Managing diabetes is impossible without managing body weight.
The prevalence of obesity among children and adolescents in the GCC ranges from 5% to 14% among males and 3% to 18% among females. In the UAE, school children / young people are said to be 1.8 times obese compared to international standards.
“Diabetes is the new epidemic and includes some contributing factors to eating out, television, watching the computer for long hours, eating while watching TV, being exposed to food advertisements, eating an extra snack,” said Dr. Anjana Kanoth, a pediatric and neonatologist at Aster Mankhool Hospital. , Lack of physical activity.
“Preventing childhood obesity will prevent type 2 diabetes in children because the disease is closely related to weight. On important changes in growth patterns and deal with them before children become overweight. ”
Tips for a healthy lifestyle
Reduce your child’s consumption of processed foods, saturated fats, sodium, cholesterol and added sugars
> Save lots of fruits and vegetables
> Eat meals as family whenever possible
> Reduce eating out, especially in fast food restaurants, and when you eat out, teach your child how to make healthy choices
> Adjust the portion sizes suitable for their age
> Limit TV and other “screen time” to less than 2 hours a day for children older than 2 years. (Children who watch TV for more than 4 hours a day are more likely to gain weight than children who watch two hours or less. Children with a TV in the bedroom are more likely to gain weight.)
> Make sure your child gets enough sleep
> Encourage outdoor physical activity at school and at home
Encourage open dialogue. Follow and talk to your children about weight and encourage them to share their thoughts and feelings about the body image as they appear
> Make sure your child sees a doctor for good baby tests at least once a year