62% of insured population is overweight, Oman Insurance study finds
Dubai: More than half of the people polled by Oman Insurance Company were found to be overweight, a new survey has found.
At least 62 per cent of the insurance company’s health care members are overweight, with different nationalities more or less impacted by weight issues.
The study compiled by LivFit team in Oman Insurance Company analysed more than 3,200 responses received as part of their free online health risk assessment.
According to the study findings, 66 per cent of Indians and 70 per cent of Pakistanis were found to be overweight, the percentage was comparatively lower for Filipinos at 54 per cent.
The overweight level was determined using Body Mass Index (BMI) as the indicator, which is a person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters. People with a BMI between 25 and 30 are considered overweight and the ones with a BMI of 30 and above are considered obese.
Interestingly, within the male population, 67 per cent were overweight compared to 59 per cent overweight women. The link between physical activity and weight was reflected through the analysis.
The study also found that 19 per cent of the people in the healthy weight group said they don’t exercise even for 2.5 hours in a week, the number rose to 27 per cent for overweight population.
Apart from lack of physical activity, common causes of obesity include poor diet and overall lifestyle choices,” said Dr Yasser Khalifa, Head of Medical Insurance at Oman Insurance Company. “Our wellness programme LivFit motivates people to start making positive lifestyle changes like walking for 20 minutes every day, stop intake of carbonated drinks or to take the stairs from time to time.”
Knowing that a person is overweight is the first step to take charge of the health condition. Unfortunately, majority of the overweight population is still unaware of their health condition as the survey revealed that only 20 per cent of the overweight respondents have been diagnosed for this condition by the doctors.
Being overweight is a major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases like stroke, diabetes and some cancers like kidney, breast, among others.
Studies indicate a rising number of people entering the obese group. Many organisations around the world continuously educate people on the impact of obesity on their health.
The introduction of sin tax on soft drinks by UAE government last year was a major step to discourage people from consuming excess sugar through these drinks.
When asked if people are willing to change, 37 per cent of the overweight group responded that they have already taken charge of their weight.