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Obesity Research

Sep 14, 2017 in Medicine

This project deals with a research on obesity in UAE. Obesity has been on an increase in United Arab Emirates. Scholars have established that the rate of childhood obesity in this country has been increasing at an alarming rate. Due to this, experts warn that this may lead to an increase in the prevalence of obesity among adults in future. This is risky since it may expose the adult population to the risk of developing diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases. Research conducted in United States and Saudi Arabia has also revealed that obesity has been rising in these countries also (Brewis, 2010). One of the contributing factors for an increase in obesity in these countries is poor lifestyles. People do not engage in physical exercises. Due to this, they are not able to burn the excess calories in their bodies. Unhealthy diet in Saudi Arabia has also caused an increase in the rate of obesity. The number of fast foods restaurants in this country has been increasing encouraging mothers to give their children junk food instead of healthy cooked meal. The number of people dying in United Arab Emirates because of obesity related illness is very high. It shows that it is critical for researchers to address this issue if they want to increase the life expectancy of people living in this region.

The articles chosen for this research relate to obesity in the UAE since they try to show the prevalence of obesity in this region. In addition, they also try to show and explain the main things that have contributed to an increase in obesity. They also try to paint a picture of the negative health effects that is caused by obesity so that people can formulate the necessary strategies that are needed in order to deal with obesity. The articles from Saudi Arabia will make it possible to relate whether the causes for an increase in obesity rates in this country is similar to the causes of an increase in obesity rate in United Arab Emirates. The articles on obesity in United States of America will also help to show the relationship between the strategies chosen to reduce obesity in America and the strategies chosen to reduce the obesity rates in United Arab Emirates. My thinking has improved significantly after presenting the findings of the first assignment since I learnt of how to apply critical thinking while analyzing articles. It also became clear to me on the necessity of practicing healthy lifestyle if I wanted to deal with obesity.

Literature Review

According to a research conducted by Middle East Hospital (2011), the rate of obesity in the United Arab Emirates countries has been increasing significantly. This has caused Forbes to rank United Arab Emirates as number 18 in the list of the world’s fattest countries. The authors of this article have estimated that 68.3 percent of all the citizens in this country as obese. The authors of this article stated that the increase on obesity in the United Arab Emirates has caused rise of diseases related to obesity for example cardiovascular diseases, several bone and joint disorders and diabetes. United Arab Emirates has the second largest rate of diabetes in the whole world. This has been significantly attributed by the increase in the rates of obesity in this country. The results from Time Out Abu Dhabi (2009) are also similar with the results obtained by the Middle East Hospital. The researchers on this article state that 71 percent of the adult populations in the Emirates region are obese. In this article, the authors cited the findings from the World Health Organization that projected a possibility of an increase in obesity of Women in United Arab Emirates to increase to about 81 percent in 2015.

Al-Haddad, Little and Ghafoor (2005) assessed the prevalence of obesity among the school children in United Arab Emirates. According to the sample research that they conducted, they found out that obesity among males in United Arab Emirates was about 2.3 folds higher compared to the rate of obesity defined by the international standards. They also found out that that the female children in the United Arab Emirates were 1.8 times more obese compared to the global obese standards. These authors discovered that the high rate of obesity among children in the United Arab Emirates was caused by unhealthy lifestyle of school children. These children do not engage in physical activities. Instead, they prefer to stay at home and watch television.

The World Health Organization (2010) state that United Arab Emirates is trying hard in order to reduce the rate of obesity among its citizens. Colleges in this country have started fitness incentives in order to encourage students in their classes to engage in physical exercises. Some colleges require their students to have 2 hours of fitness training in an attempt of reducing the prevalence of obesity. This country has also started programs directed at educating the public so that they are able to practice good nutrition in order to deal with obesity. The results of these authors are similar to the results by the Middle East Hospital since the researchers from this hospital suggested that people should engage in more physical exercises in order to deal with the cardiovascular diseases that were brought about by obesity. Oyelere (2011) found out that the culture of the Middle East Women could be a significant factor contributing to the high prevalence rates of obesity among women. Some of the pregnant women in this region believe that they should eat more in order for their babies to become strong and healthy. In addition, these women also believe that the society values fat women since it sees them as more beautiful compared to the other women.

Gortmaker and Story (2012) conducted a study on how high rates of obesity among children could be reduced in United States. From their study, they concluded that it was very necessary for nutritional policy research to be adequately funded so that research could be conducted on the critical type of foods that children could eat in order to reduce their chances of being affected by high rates of obesity. They also argued that if people utilized policy approaches to modify the food environment, there is a very high possibility that the high rates of Childhood obesity in the United States would reduce. The need for more research on healthy foods to be consumed by Americans is necessary since the obesity rate in this country has been increasing at an alarming rate. According to a research conducted by Cutler, Glaesler and Shapiro (2003), the average American weighed about 168 pounds in the 1960s. However, the current Americans weigh about 180 pounds showing that the number of people who are obese in this country has increased. These authors state that Americans after World War II liked eating boiled or baked potatoes. Currently, Americans love to eat French fries and other foods that are cooked in fast food restaurants. The Findings of this research are similar to the findings of the research conducted by the Middle East Hospital on the reasons why obesity has significantly increased in United Arab Emirates. The total calories that Americans have been consuming have also risen compared to 1960. Average Americans now consume more meals per day leading to an increase in the rate of calories intake.

Tompson et al. (2012) conducted a study on the perception of obesity among citizens of the United States. The participants of this study ranked the factors contributing to obesity as both individual and environmental. 82 percent of the participants in their study felt that spending too much time with the computer and television contributed to an increase in the rate of obesity among most Americans. 75 percent of the participants in this research argued that inexpensive fast foods were a major factor contributing to obesity. They further stated that healthy foods were too expensive for them to purchase based on their levels of income. Due to this, Americans are more exposed to diseases such as high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. Hammond and Levine (2010) article focuses on the economic impact of obesity in the United States. The common diseases that they identified that were related with risk of increase in obesity include CHD, hypertension and hypercholesterolemia. They stated that the costs for the diagnosis and treatment of obesity related diseases were very high.

Obesity has also increased significantly in Saudi Arabia. According to a research conducted by the World Health Organization (2009) on the prevalence obesity in Saudi Arabia, about 29 percent of all the male population in Saudi Arabia is obese. In contrast, 37 percent of the female population is obese. Studies conducted by health institutions between 2005 and 2008 revealed that one in every ten teenagers and children in Saudi Arabia are obese. Due to this, health experts in Saudi Arabia have warned that there is a high chance that the rates of coronary diseases, gout, cancer and diabetes will increase in future because of obesity. Hochberg, Levine, Mead and Klag (1995) tried to investigate the main factors that cause an increase in the rate of obesity in Saudi Arabia. From their research, they discovered that people in Saudi Arabia are eating too much meat and this could be an explanation as to why the rate of obesity in this country has been on the rise. The national food of the people in Saudi Arabia is kabsa. This dish has meat sheep in it. Studies have also revealed that Saudi Arabia is the largest importer of chicken in the whole world. An increase in the number of first foods selling chicken has caused an increase to the chicken imports in this country. Strategies have been adopted by the government in Saudi Arabia in order to encourage people to adopt healthy lifestyles in an attempt of reducing obesity. One of the strategies adopted by the government of this country is educating the youths on the benefits of engaging in healthy lifestyles through constant physical exercises. The government of this country has also started efforts that are aimed at encouraging people to eat healthy dishes and refrain from eating fast foods, which are rather unhealthy (Moreno, 2011).

Analysis

The article by Hammond and Levine (2010) adopted a quantitative type of research. This is  because the researchers relied on mathematical models while estimating the costs that people in United States incurred because of an increase in the rate of obesity. The research design was literature review. This is because they compared studies done by past researchers in order to arrive at the conclusions of their study. The methodological approach for this study was a survey research. All the conclusions that the authors reached concerning the costs associated with obesity were supported with findings. The methodological approach, type of research and design of research conducted by Brewis (2010) was similar to the research conducted by Hammond and Levine. However, the results of this study revealed that culture and bio-cultural perspectives were very important in explaining the increase in obesity rates in Arabian countries.

The article written by Middle East Hospital on obesity in United Arab Emirates took a qualitative type of research. The design of this research was descriptive. It wanted to find out how the healthcare professions and the community in the United Arab Emirates perceived about obesity. The methodological approach of this study was case study. The main findings of this research revealed that most people with normal weights had felt that obese people did not live normal lives. The conclusions of this research were supported by adequate findings. The article written by Matthews on how obesity was a big problem in United Arab Emirates was a qualitative type of research. The design for this research was historical. The methodological approach for this research was a survey research. The conclusion for this research was that obesity was a big problem in UAE. The research findings were supported by credible sources. The article by Al-Haddad, Little and Ghafoor on childhood obesity in the UAE was a quantitative type of research. All the data was collected was analyzed using statistical software. The design for this research was experimental. It wanted to assess the prevalence of obesity among school children in UAE. The methodology of this research was survey. The conclusion for this study was that the frequency of obesity among the youths in the frequency of obesity in UAE was 2 to three times higher than the international frequency. The conclusion of this research was supported by statistical findings.

The article by Oyelere (2011) on the influence of lifestyle choices and the risk of behavior of developing obesity took a quantitative type of research. The design for this research was cross-sectional. The methodological approach for this research was a survey research. The conclusion of this research was that overweight and obesity in the United Arab Emirates posed a very big problem to the health of the citizens in this country. All the findings of this research were supported with statistical results. The article by Thompson et al (2012 tried to look at the public perception of obesity in United States. The type of research on this article was quantitative study. The type of research design was historical. This is because it relied on research conducted by previous scholars. The conclusions of this research were supported by findings from other scholars.

The article written by Cutler, Glaeser, and Shapiro (2003) wanted to investigate whether Americans have become too obese because of the lifestyle that they are currently adopting. The type of research conducted by these authors was quantitative study. The design for this research was experimental. The methodological approach for this research was survey research. The conclusion arrived by this research was that the high obesity rates in America can be largely explained by the change in the types of food that the citizens in this country consume. The article by Gortmaker and Story tried to look at whether nutritional policy research could succeed in reducing policy in United States. The type of research was qualitative study. The study design of this research was historical. The methodological approach was survey research. Conclusion that was arrived by this research revealed that changes in policy could reduce obesity. It was supported by findings of other researchers

The research conducted by the World Health Organization (2009) on the prevalence of obesity in Saudi Arabia was a quantitative type of study. The design of this research was descriptive. The methodology adopted by this study was survey. The findings of this research revealed that the rate of obesity in this country was increasing. The type, design and methodological approach of the study conducted by Hochberg, Levine, Mead and Klag (1995) was also similar to the study by the WHO. The findings of their research was that the culture of Saudi Arabians largely contributed to the increase in obesity rates of this country. Moreno (2011) conducted a study on the increase of childhood obesity in Saudi Arabia. The type of research was quantitative. The design for the research was case study. The methodological approach was survey research. The findings of the research revealed that obesity was increasing in Saudi Arabia among the teenager and young children.  Sakamaki’s et al. (2005) study was also similar to the approach adopted by Moreno. The results of the research touching on Saudi Arabian participants revealed that the type of food consumed influenced an increase in the rate of obesity among students. The design for this research was cross-sectional research.

Synthesis

Several key things are similar from all the articles discussed. One of the key things is how obesity is turning out to be a major concern. This is because obesity has been increasing in all of the areas under study proving that this issue should be addressed. In United States, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, childhood obesity is turning out to be a major concern. Due to this, people fear that the adult population may be at risk of suffering diseases such as cardiovascular complications, cancer, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. In  additional, all the articles in the regions under study reveal that the governments in regions affected by high rates of obesity is trying everything possible in order to reduce the risk of spread in obesity. Some of the key strategies adopted include educating the youths on the importance of practicing healthy lifestyles and introducing policies aimed at promoting the sale of healthy foods. This will help in reducing the high calorie intake that contributes to the ever rising cases of obesity. 

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