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Expatriates and nationals living in Qatar yesterday celebrated World Health Day (WHD) by focusing on healthcare and urbanisation.
A study released in 2005 revealed that up to 70 per cent of women and half of men living in the Gulf state are overweight or obese, and experts believe this could be linked to the Gulf state’s growing urbanisation, local news reports said.
Minister of public health Abdullah bin Khalid Al Qahtiani said: "The WHD theme sends a basic message which places health as a top priority issue when it comes to policies, especially with urban growth exposing the population to dangers stemming from the poor quality of life, weak health coverage, poor infrastructure, contamination of drinking water and the exposure to disasters with the consequent risk of disease and injuries leading to death."
One of the country’s lifestyle research institutions, Aspire Active (AA), released figures about the population’s health to coincide with WHD.
AA head Dr Leonieke Richardson told the paper that the way to tackle the obesity trend required "changes in individual behaviour" and the promotion of healthy lifestyle choices.
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