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Story Publication logo August 15, 2012

Dubai's Rapid Transformation Spurs Change in Eating Habits

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While the fast food industry in the United Arab Emirate's flourishes, a dramatic increase in obesity...

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Image by Andrew Faust. United Arab Emirates, 2012.

Since the early 1990s, Dubai's population has increased by more than 200 percent, according to the Government of Dubai's statistic center. This has caused drastic lifestyle changes for residents.

With an abundance of housing, shopping and eating options, Dubai's fast-paced lifestyle provides the population with abundant convenience and variety. However, as the booming metropolis has grown, so has the population's obesity.

Wafaa Al-Bassum, clinical dietician and diabetes educator at the Dr. Sulaiman Al-Habib Medical Group, believes there are several factors that contribute to the recent rise of the obesity rate in Dubai.

"I always tell my patients: 'It is your choice—this is your health and you know that things are not healthy,'" says Al-Bassum.

According to Al-Bassum, the obesity problem is a result of three factors: Dubai's wide variety of eating options, the popularity of foods that are heavy in fat, and the basic health education of the population.

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