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Saudi Obesity, Diabetes Threaten Economy

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Obesity and diabetes pose significant threats not only to human wellbeing but also to the economic health of Gulf states, according to Saudi Arabia's health minister.

The region faces increasing financial burdens due to these conditions.

In the Gulf, obesity is a growing issue commonly linked to diabetes. With the majority of Gulf citizens being under 30 years old, the prevalence of obesity and diabetes "endangers the wealth of our society, particularly our youth," stated Khaled al-Falih on Tuesday night during the opening of an international conference addressing these intertwined health concerns.

The Saudi Press Agency reported Falih's statement that 15-20 percent of people in Gulf countries are affected by diabetes.

Saudi authorities have previously attributed unhealthy lifestyles to urbanization, smartphone addiction, lack of physical activity, and the widespread availability of fast food.

Falih referenced a global study indicating that the cost of treating diabetes amounted to $500 billion (440 billion euros) in 2011, with projections suggesting this cost will rise to $750 billion by 2030.

"These costs and medical resources could be more effectively allocated towards achieving significant medical advancements in research and health service development," Falih rem

Source: naharnet

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