Qatar: Sweet Epidemic
by Mary Ferreira
Counting calories is not on anyone’s mind when visiting fast food chains in Doha, the capital city of the State of Qatar. But it’s now a necessity as young people are becoming “addicted” to quick meals, according to one of the leading newspapers in the country, the Peninsula. Now the Government is implementing rules and regulations to force restaurants to disclose to consumers the calorie count in every meal.
This initiative is part of a plan to reduce the onset of diabetes across the nation. Many Qataris, regardless of age, are developing diabetes at an alarming rate. But the disease is not new to Qatar. Abdullrazaq was diagnosed with diabetes when he was only 25 years old.
Experts say the reasons vary – unhealthy diets of fast food and sugar-filled desserts, sedentary lifestyles and hereditary genes.
Abdullrazaq is not sure how he acquired diabetes but he told UN TV multimedia producer, Mary Ferreira, that he lost both of his parents to diabetes. His mother passed away only a few weeks ago.
Now at age, 51, the disease is claiming several parts of Abdullrazaq’s body, including vital organs. His days are filled with doctor’s appointments, hospital visits, and insulin injections.
He is currently receiving dialysis treatment three times each week at Hamad General Hospital in downtown, Doha. The hospital boasts more than 200 dialysis stations and in 2009, the hospital performed some 60,000 dialysis sessions.
Abdullrazaq’s family is supporting him fully as he struggles to move around his home to complete routine daily activities. According to medical experts, the only solution for Abdullrazaq is a kidney transplant when an exact match is found.
In the meantime, the campaign against fast food addiction will test the nation’s commitment to healthy eating. Before any success is reached workers at eateries need to be aware of the impact of fried food on consumers’ health, says the Peninsula.