FACING THE DIABESITY EPIDEMIC

By 2020, 60% of adults will be at risk for or suffer from diabetes or obesity

  • Six of the 10 countries with the highest prevalence of diabetes in the world are from the region: Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates – World Health Organization – Regional office of the Eastern Mediterranean
  • More than 66 per cent of men and 60 per cent of women in the UAE are overweight or obese – Global Burden of Disease Study 2013
  • By 2020 over 60% of all adults in America will be at risk for, or suffer from, some form of diabetes and obesity – Diabesity Research Foundation

(August 2015 – Dubai, UAE) Despite the 2008 global economic downturn the last decade haswitnesses and unprecedented energy boom which has resulted in rapidly increasing wealth in the Middle East, particularly in the oil and gas-rich Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. This exceptional growth in prosperity has put UAE on the global map, but on the other side has also brought with it rapid changes in lifestyles that have resulted in a significant rise in chronic disease. In particular the number of people diagnosed with diabetes, obesity and what has now been identified by experts as ‘diabesity’ has increased dramatically.

Dr Joseph Lamb, (a double board certified physician in both Internal Medicine and Holistic Medicine from the USA) explains, “Diabesity is a blended word combining Diabetes and Obesity to catch the attention that these troublesome diseases deserve. Obesity is just a visible sign of the changes taking place within our bodies.”

According to the World Health Organization Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean, by 2025, the number of people with diabetes is expected to more than double in the WHO Eastern Mediterranean region.

The economic growth in the past decade throughout the MENA region have directed more of the labor force towards the service sector and low physically active lifestyle. As a result of this change we are witnessing an increase in cases of ‘diabesity’ in epidemic proportions globally, and particularly in the MENA region, which has the highest prevalence of diabetes in adults.

An overall lower standard of fitness of a countries population not only increases the burden of healthcare costs, but indirectly adds to cost due to more and more missed work by the adult population coupled with the economic burden of loss of productivity. The major drivers of this epidemic are the demographic changes with increased life expectancy and lifestyle changes due to rapid urbanization and industrialization. Recognized globally as an educator and key opinion leader in the field of lifestyle medicine, Dr Lamb will be speaking at the 4th annual American Anti-Aging Conference in Dubai (17 – 19 November 2015). The conference will bring to the UAE international experts who will share insights and latest developments in identification, prevention and treatment of Diabesity, Cardiometabolic Disease and the lifestyle medicine approaches that can help put patients on the path to optimal health.

Servane Collette, Director of American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M) Dubai adds, “Physicians and healthcare practitioners are at the frontline to help patients not just recover but also prevent the occurrence of these epidemics. Conferences like these bring to the region international experts and offer unparalleled education to medical practitioners who share the common goal of improving patient care, transforming their practices, and staying on the cutting- edge of medicine.”

**Please note, Thumbay Group, Gulf Medical University, and HEALTH magazine are not liable nor responsible for the facts, figures, and overall content of the press releases on our portal.

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