Dr Mohsen Eledrisi (second left) with other officials at a meeting.
DOHA: Obesity is the greatest factor in the increasing incidence of type 2 diabetes among Qatari nationals, says an expert.
Senior Consultant at Hamad General Hospital’s Department of Medicine and Endocrinology, Dr Mohsen Eledrisi, says more than 90 percent of diabetics in Qatar have type 2 diabetes. He says this correlates with Qatar having the second highest prevalence of obesity worldwide.
“According to the International Diabetes Federation, about 23 percent of Qataris have diabetes and more than 90 percent of them have type 2 diabetes,” said Dr Eledrisi on the sidelines of a Diabetes Care Workshop for primary healthcare physicians, held as part of the Action on Diabetes initiative.
Type 1 diabetes is usually first diagnosed in children and young adults, although it can occur at any age.
It is an autoimmune disease that may be caused by genetic, environmental, or other factors and accounts for about 5 percent of diabetes cases worldwide.
Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90 to 95 percent of diabetes cases worldwide and is usually associated with obesity and physical inactivity, family history of type 2 diabetes or old age.
It can often be prevented through healthy food choices, physical activity and weight loss.
Dr Eledrisi explained that obesity is increasing among the local population due to lifestyle changes that have been largely brought about by economic prosperity.
“People’s eating habits have changed, and their diets now include a lot of high-calorie and fatty foods. Most people use cars a lot and many don’t do any exercise,” said Dr Eledrisi.
He said: “We need to be conscious about what we eat and take the time to exercise.”
He recommended eating larger proportions of vegetables and fruits and reducing the amount of saturated fats in one’s diet.
“An important message here is: Increase your physical activity levels, watch your weight and pay attention to your diet, including the quality and quantity of food you consume,” said Dr Eledrisi.