Qatar study finds 70% of nationals, long-term residents overweight

Qatar Biobank also found 45 per cent of participants ate fast food more than three times a week

More than 70 per cent of nationals and long-term residents in Qatar are overweight or obese, according to a new report.

Doha News cited a Qatar Biobank study released this week for the findings.

The report, which analysed data from 5,000 Qataris and long-term residents of the country,
found that 83 per cent of participants got no regular exercise and 45 per cent ate fast food more than three times a week.

In addition, 86 per cent were diagnosed with vitamin D deficiency.

The sample was almost equally male and female with the majority of participants aged between 25 and 34 years old, according to the publication.

Qatar Biobank said 80 per cent of those who submitted blood were unaware of any health problems.

However, 16 per cent were diagnosed with diabetes and more than 50 per cent were referred to Hamad Medical Corporation for treatment.

The bank is aiming to collect 60,000 samples from Qatari nationals or residents that have been in the country at least 15 years by 2019.

Bad diets and sedentary lifestyles have made Gulf residents and citizens among the most unhealthy in the world.

Research released by insurance provider Zurich International Life in 2015 showed 60.5 per cent of UAE residents were overweight or obese.

Read: Over 60% of UAE residents are overweight or obese – study

While British medical journal Lancet ranked Saudi Arabia the third highest country in the world for levels of obesity and laziness.

The World Bank has claimed that by the year 2030, non-communicable diseases – largely made up of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer – will account for 87 per cent of all deaths in the GCC.

Read: Fighting fit? Health and healthcare in the GCC