Friday, January 13, 2017

Obesity, diabetes prevalent in Arab American communities

By Julia Kassem |
Much of the Arab world is following in the same trajectory, with the World Health Organization reporting that more than 30 percent of the Arab world is overweight or obese. Along with rising diabetes rates across the region, other countries show equally concerning signs of poor health. Egypt faces the highest rates of obesity in Africa, while Arabs in Palestine are at significantly higher risk for obesity and diabetes than their Israeli counterparts. 
This phenomenon, plaguing both the extremely lavish and the highly impoverished nations of the Middle East, is also reflected aptly in their American counterparts. 
Evidence shows that Arab Americans may have higher rates of obesity and type II diabetes than the average non-Arab American. A 2003 study by Linda Jaber, concluding that the "prevalence of diabetes and glucose intolerance is extremely high among adult Arab Americans in Michigan", is validated by figures showing overall diabetes prevalence at 15.5 percent for women and 20.1 percent for men, compared with 5-6 percent for non-Hispanic Whites." 

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