PROGRESS, they say, doesn’t happen overnight. They must have never set foot in Dubai. The skyline transforms here practically everyday.
Driving around I took a wrong exit and reached an unintentional destination — the Healthcare City, which was a delightful view to behold.
Dubai cares! And it shows!
Although these days driving around in Dubai exasperates and even more aggravating is finding parking but when one comes upon such sights as the Healthcare City you cannot help but feel exhilarated. Some semblance of order is developing in the mad chaos of construction, traffic and dug up dust.
We are witness to the process of progress which I reckon is only relatively speaking a bit slow. Slow to a generation that thrives on speed-fast, size-large and gratification-instant!
What might have seemed like utopian yesterday is bricks and mortar today and still building…still expanding...the much needed Healthcare City among several others within the city!
Much needed because the UAE records one of the highest rates of obesity in the world, higher than the US. It is blamed on a sedentary lifestyle and easy access to food.
Obesity too, like progress the experts tell me is not overnight. We work at it and build on it with our lethargy, inactive lifestyle and wrong food choices all the time.
Obesity is a major risk factor for a number of chronic diseases, including cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.
Diabetes is currently the fastest growing debilitating disease in the world.
This year, the UAE ranked second highest worldwide for diabetes prevalence, followed by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Kuwait (International Diabetes Federation (IDF) 2007.)
The key to prevention of type II diabetes, even in those with predisposing genes is to maintain a normal body weight and to exercise regularly. The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) has stated that, up to 80 per cent of type II diabetes is preventable by adopting a healthy diet and increasing physical activity.
And yet, then do we not take stock of our health until it gets too late!
Most of us have an innate sense of what is good for us and yet we continue to make wrong choices with just a bit of guilt, that drowns in the momentary pleasures of gluttony.
For those that need help and want to know more about health issues and healthful choices there are several total wellness and wellbeing clinics employing qualified medical and specialised health, nutrition and fitness professionals that can bring about a complete transformation in our lives for good.
There are in Dubai already, several health food restaurants and cafes that even deliver meals for the entire day at your doorstep.
Being aware and being healthy is now easier than ever in the UAE. Help is available; one only needs to be judicial in choosing the right professionals.
Fad diets, elimination diets, pills, supplements that magically take off the kilos, secret ingredients from the back of the beyond and potions from the deep of jungles etc are gimmicks for the uninformed vulnerable. There are no quick fixes and there are no secrets really!
Good health and weight management is not a secret and should never be. Diet and nutrition experts advice hovers around the individuals food and lifestyle habit with a few healthful choices incorporated and unhealthy choices eliminated. No drastic changes are made so we can adapt to the changes quite easily.
Weight management is a simple equation these experts of the field tell me: Energy intake = Energy output.
In our zest as weekend warriors to fight obesity we fall prey to such magical potions and yo-yo between desirable weight and obesity.
The ‘secret magical solutions’ just delay our process of reaching our goals of good health and wholesome nutrition.
In the field of sciences there are no secrets and no magic. Every discovery, invention or research is publicised enthusiastically for the benefit of the population sometimes in over enthusiasm even prematurely without sufficient research.
We have caused a lot of damage to our environment. We have punched holes in the ozone layer. We continue deforesting our greens, polluting our air and water. And now our planet is getting obese. The alarm has been sounding for some time now.
We have to rid ourselves of the excess baggage or risk off-loading!
*Published in the UAE's KHALEEJ TIMES on November 1, 2007. Anjana Rajguru is a Dubai-based writer.