Rabat - Roughly 10 million Moroccans live with obesity, according to new statistics presented during a recent episode of Channel 2’s TV program, “The Obesity Challenge.”
Rabat – Roughly 10 million Moroccans live with obesity, according to new statistics presented during a recent episode of Channel 2’s TV program, “The Obesity Challenge.”
A total of 3.6 million citizens are severely obese, which puts the group at an increased risk of heart problems, arthritis, diabetes and more.
Earlier this year, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that an “alarming” 14 percent of all Moroccan children suffer from obesity, which reduces life expectancy.
The combined economic and social effects of the disease cost the Moroccan economy nearly MAD 24 billion per year, or 3 percent of the country’s GDP, the study revealed.
Former studies in the kingdom have concluded that the consumption of excess amounts of sugar in Moroccan mint tea, carb-filled bred and other traditional foods have a high potential of causing citizens to become overweight overtime – if the diet is not paired with a proportionate amount of exercise.
This year, U.S.-funded Fulbright scholar Anna Boots studied the asymmetric spread of obesity and weight-related disorders in women, as street harassment and conservative social norms prevent them from exercising in public.
In addition, higher incomes stemming from urbanization and trends in globalization have attracted Western fast-food chains, such as Pizza Hut and McDonalds, to open their doors and serve their high-calorie meals to middle-class Moroccans, putting them at risk for obesity and related diseases.
According to Boots, with the complex health effects of Morocco’s new social and economic order now materializing, “greater education about a healthy diet and lifestyle and increased exercise opportunities for women would go a long way in fighting obesity.”