From fat to fit

With heart disease identified as the top killer in the UAE, exercise is the way to lessen the risk. 

 Sarah Dea / The National
With heart disease identified as the top killer in the UAE, exercise is the way to lessen the risk. Sarah Dea / The National

Abu Dhabi has a heart-stopping challenge: cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the emirate and it has high rates of lifestyle-related problems, such as obesity and diabetes. The Health Authority has computed the numbers. It says that heart disease was the cause of more than a third of roughly 3,000 deaths last year. This indicates that diet is poor, people are inactive and probably smoking too much. Add in work-related stress and the mix is not at all good.

But that’s no reason to despair. Finland, which in the 1970s held the world record for heart disease, was able to change its habits in a generation. It weaned people off a staple diet of fat, cigarettes and couch potato-ism with a campaign that included motivating cities to win a collective prize in cholesterol-cutting competitions and a subsidy for exercise of all sorts. Our own campaign #cycletoworkuae must be part of an active attempt to get fit.

Published: December 25, 2014 04:00 AM

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