Obesity leads to 20,000 deaths in KSA each year

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Updated 20 August 2013
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Obesity leads to 20,000 deaths in KSA each year

At least 20,000 people in Saudi Arabia die every year due to complications from obesity, said endocrinologist Dr. Waleed Albakr.
Albakr, who works at Dammam University, and is promoting an awareness campaign to educate Saudis on the dangers of diabetes. The campaign, “Lose your weight and gain your health,” notes diabetes is often caused by obesity.
“Obese people usually die 10 years before people with a normal weight,” he said. “People who have fat on their stomach are more likely to get diabetes and have a higher blood cholesterol level.”
Albakr said that 40 percent of Saudis are obese. People from the south are more fit than those in other regions of the Kingdom. “Studies show that women are more obese than men. This is because of the effect of hormones and the lack of sports and movement.” The indigenous Saudi population seems to have a special genetic predisposition to develop type two diabetes, he said. Citing a 2012 report, he said, Saudis are ranked third in the world when it comes to laziness. No less than 68.8 percent of Saudi people are inactive.
Only the people of Malta and Swaziland are more lethargic. On top of that, Saudis are competing with Kuwaitis and Americans for the highest number of obese people. This is further amplified by an increase in obesity rates, a high rate of consanguinity, or marriages between family members and the presence of other variables of the insulin resistance syndrome, said Dr. Aayed Alqahtani, associate professor and consultant of minimally invasive and obesity surgery at the College of Medicine. Dr Alqahtani, who is also founder and supervisor of the multidisciplinary obesity clinic at King Saud University and King Khalid University Hospital in Riyadh, conducted obesity surveys too.
“The prevalence of obesity ranges between 16-25 percent in men and 17-43 percent in women,” Alqahtani said. “The most prevalent chronic diseases related to obesity in these populations are diabetes and hypertension,” he said. His surveys found that out of 195,874 participants, the overall prevalence of obesity in Saudis was 43.8 percent, while 35.1 percent were overweight. The prevalence of underweight was 1.3 percent.
The peak prevalence of obesity was observed in the age group of 50-59 years,” he added.
To document the prevalence of obesity in Saudi Arabia, Alqahtani used data from a cross-sectional study on 19,598 individuals in 2,837 households.
“We found that the prevalence of obesity ranged from 33.9 percent in Hail to 11.7 percent in Jizan,” he said. “More women (23.6 percent) than men (14.2 percent) were obese. The data showed that 30.7 percent of the men and 28.4 percent of the women was overweight. We discovered that obesity was present in all age groups,” he said. “We also found that the mothers of obese and overweight children were usually less educated.”


The rights Saudi women did not know of

Updated 25 April 2018
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The rights Saudi women did not know of

  • Since the launch of Saudi Vision 2030, the Saudi Justice ministry has addressed all flaws in the system that prevented women from living their lives securely and free from unnecessary hassles
  • No marriage agreement is accepted unless a woman provides a written approval, even if her guardian is her father

JEDDAH: Despite the great steps taken by the Saudi Ministry of Justice to give women a freer and more secure life, many Saudi women still do not have enough knowledge of their rights. 

Therefore, the ministry has started a campaign in cities all over the Kingdom to spread awareness among women of their legal rights. A female-only staff runs public exhibitions to enlighten them about how they are protected in different areas so they can lead their lives in a better way.

“We are using every possible channel to communicate with women to enlighten them about their rights, support them in all aspects to assure their ability to enjoy a secure rightful life,” said Majed Alkhamis, head of media and communication at the Ministry of Justice.

Since the launch of Saudi Vision 2030, the ministry has addressed all flaws in the system that prevented women from living their lives securely and free from unnecessary hassles. Despite all the obstacles, the ministry has succeeded in several areas.

A wife’s rights

The system not only grants the woman the right to sue her husband or ex-husband for alimony or acknowledgment of paternity, but it also allows any women legally living on Saudi soil, regardless of her citizenship or religion, to prosecute her current or former husband even if he is outside Saudi Arabia at the time of the lawsuit. Moreover, the new systems now support divorced women to a whole new level. For example, the system gives priority to a woman’s alimony over her husband’s personal debts.

Marriage agreements

No marriage agreement is accepted unless a woman provides a written approval, even if her guardian is her father. This arrangement grants a woman the freedom to accept a marriage proposal without any influence or coercion. In addition, if a woman is not happy with her marriage, she is free to leave the house of marriage and walk out of the agreement with no law to force her to come back. If she chooses to abandon the marriage her right to alimony will be dropped, but she is still entitled to custody of the children.

No delays

The Ministry of Justice has designed a full female service within its courthouses. 

These services include advisory people who provide free consultations on everything. In addition, these departments support women at all stages up until the execution of any court order to avoid delays and procrastination.

Speedy justice

The law emphasizes the speedy execution of justice in women-related cases.