The rates of bariatric (weight-loss) surgery in the Arabian Gulf are among the highest in the world. Regis Duvignau / Reuters
The rates of bariatric (weight-loss) surgery in the Arabian Gulf are among the highest in the world. Regis Duvignau / Reuters

Weight isn't all bariatric surgery patients stand to lose



The rates of bariatric (weight-loss) surgery in the Arabian Gulf are among the highest in the world. It was once reserved for the morbidly obese, but these days moderately obese individuals and even chubby children might undergo the procedure. The benefits of surgery can be huge, including remission of type 2 diabetes and better liver function. However, bariatric surgery patients don’t always end up happily ever after.

Beyond the occasional physical complications, there can also be psychological and social consequences. One such consequence appears to be an elevated risk of divorce. A review study published in Social Work Today suggests that the two-year, post-operative divorce rate in bariatric patients is as high as 75 to 85 per cent. This high frequency of marital breakdown has given rise to the phrase "bariatric divorce".

The elevated post-operative divorce rates have been explained in terms of unmet expectations. This is the idea that some patients anticipate that their new body will put the sparkle back into a flagging marriage. When this expectation is not met, it can be the kill shot to an already troubled relationship.

Another possible reason is the idea of one-sided lifestyle changes. In cases where both partners are obese and only one partner undergoes the surgery, there can be huge, one-sided changes to the relationship. One partner may become more energetic and more sociable, attract more attention and take up new hobbies. Old habits, such as feasting on junk food while binge-watching TV, may no longer appeal. This lifestyle divergence can strain a relationship to breaking point. A couple once united by obesity are slowly untied by slimness.

A third interpretation for the high divorce rate – and none of these interpretations are mutually exclusive – is that the gains in self-esteem and confidence empower the post-operative patient to extract themselves from a toxic relationship. The new body is the springboard to a new life.

Divorce is not the only psycho-social consequence of bariatric surgery. Problems arising after surgery can also occasionally include anorexic or bulimic styles of eating. This can lead to greater than expected weight loss and disorder eating behaviours such as binging and purging. There is also growing evidence that some post-operative bariatric patients appear to be at higher risk of alcoholism and other addictive behaviours. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2012 also reports an elevated risk of suicide.

These risks are small, but they are there. This is why best-practice guidelines in bariatric surgery strongly recommend that psychological evaluations and psychological support are essential. This helps ensure the best possible outcomes, and helps identify pre-existing problems that might make bariatric surgery a bad idea.

Poor-quality bariatric programmes take a dangerously superficial, tick-box approach to psychological assessment and support. The worst ones don’t do it at all, and certainly won’t include a licensed psychologist in the process. By contrast, high-quality programmes will attempt to fully prepare candidates for this life-changing surgery, with a psychologist identifying the best ways to support the individual pre- and post-surgery.

A study published in Obesity and Surgery this year concluded: "The Arabian Gulf has both the highest percentage of bariatric procedures performed as well as the highest prevalence of obesity. However, they have the lowest number of publications and research when compared to their western counterparts." Another study published in the same journal reported that only 22 per cent of programmes in the Middle East reported involving psychologists as part of routine bariatric practice.

There is an urgent need for regional guidelines. More regional research and greater compliance with existing evidence-based best-practice would also help inform and protect.

Dr Justin Thomas is an associate professor at Zayed University in Abu Dhabi

On Twitter: @DrJustinThomas

Details

Through Her Lens: The stories behind the photography of Eva Sereny

Forewords by Jacqueline Bisset and Charlotte Rampling, ACC Art Books

RESULTS

Women:

55kg brown-black belt: Amal Amjahid (BEL) bt Amanda Monteiro (BRA) via choke
62kg brown-black belt: Bianca Basilio (BRA) bt Ffion Davies (GBR) via referee’s decision (0-0, 2-2 adv)
70kg brown-black belt: Ana Carolina Vieira (BRA) bt Jessica Swanson (USA), 9-0
90kg brown-black belt: Angelica Galvao (USA) bt Marta Szarecka (POL) 8-2

Men:

62kg black belt: Joao Miyao (BRA) bt Wan Ki-chae (KOR), 7-2
69kg black belt: Paulo Miyao (BRA) bt Gianni Grippo (USA), 2-2 (1-0 adv)
77kg black belt: Espen Mathiesen (NOR) bt Jake Mackenzie (CAN)
85kg black belt: Isaque Braz (BRA) bt Faisal Al Ketbi (UAE), 2-0
94kg black belt: Felipe Pena (BRA) bt Adam Wardzinski (POL), 4-0
110kg black belt final: Erberth Santos (BRA) bt Lucio Rodrigues (GBR) via rear naked choke

The specs

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Power: 190hp at 5,200rpm
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Signs of heat stroke
  • The loss of sodium chloride in our sweat can lead to confusion and an altered mental status and slurred speech
  • Body temperature above 39°C
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  • A faster pulse than usual
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UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government

Confirmed bouts (more to be added)

Cory Sandhagen v Umar Nurmagomedov
Nick Diaz v Vicente Luque
Michael Chiesa v Tony Ferguson
Deiveson Figueiredo v Marlon Vera
Mackenzie Dern v Loopy Godinez

Tickets for the August 3 Fight Night, held in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, went on sale earlier this month, through www.etihadarena.ae and www.ticketmaster.ae.

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Transmission: Seven-speed automatic

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Company Profile

Name: Raha
Started: 2022
Based: Kuwait/Saudi
Industry: Tech Logistics
Funding: $14 million
Investors: Soor Capital, eWTP Arabia Capital, Aujan Enterprises, Nox Management, Cedar Mundi Ventures
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COMPANY PROFILE

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Founders: Hamza Iraqui and Abdessamad Ben Zakour
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Industry: Refurbished electronics
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Investors: Flat6Labs, Resonance and various others

Day 1 results:

Open Men (bonus points in brackets)
New Zealand 125 (1) beat UAE 111 (3)
India 111 (4) beat Singapore 75 (0)
South Africa 66 (2) beat Sri Lanka 57 (2)
Australia 126 (4) beat Malaysia -16 (0)

Open Women
New Zealand 64 (2) beat South Africa 57 (2)
England 69 (3) beat UAE 63 (1)
Australia 124 (4) beat UAE 23 (0)
New Zealand 74 (2) beat England 55 (2)

Without Remorse

Directed by: Stefano Sollima

Starring: Michael B Jordan

4/5

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Almouneer
Started: 2017
Founders: Dr Noha Khater and Rania Kadry
Based: Egypt
Number of staff: 120
Investment: Bootstrapped, with support from Insead and Egyptian government, seed round of
$3.6 million led by Global Ventures

Company profile

Company name: Hayvn
Started: 2018
Founders: Christopher Flinos, Ahmed Ismail
Based: Abu Dhabi, UAE
Sector: financial
Initial investment: undisclosed
Size: 44 employees
Investment stage: series B in the second half of 2023
Investors: Hilbert Capital, Red Acre Ventures

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Klipit

Started: 2022

Founders: Venkat Reddy, Mohammed Al Bulooki, Bilal Merchant, Asif Ahmed, Ovais Merchant

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Digital receipts, finance, blockchain

Funding: $4 million

Investors: Privately/self-funded

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Director: Nabil Ayouch 

Starring: Nisrin Erradi, Joud Chamihy, Jalila Talemsi

Rating: 4/5

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Housed on the same site as the original Africa Hall, which first hosted an Arab-African Symposium in 1976, the newly renovated building will be home to a think tank and postgraduate studies hub (it will offer master’s and PhD programmes). The centre will focus on both the historical and contemporary links between Africa and the Gulf, and will serve as a meeting place for conferences, symposia, lectures, film screenings, plays, musical performances and more. In fact, today it is hosting a symposium – 5-plus-1: Rethinking Abstraction that will look at the six decades of Frank Bowling’s career, as well as those of his contemporaries that invested social, cultural and personal meaning into abstraction. 

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1. Fasting

2. Prayer

3. Hajj

4. Shahada

5. Zakat

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Sharad Nair recommends three investment apps for UAE residents:

  • For beginners or people who want to start investing with limited capital, Mr Nair suggests eToro. “The low fees and low minimum balance requirements make the platform more accessible,” he says. “The user interface is straightforward to understand and operate, while its social element may help ease beginners into the idea of investing money by looking to a virtual community.”
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Author: Michael Knights

Pages: 256

Available: January 26

Results

1. Mathieu van der Poel (NED) Alpecin-Fenix - 3:45:47

2. David Dekker (NED) Jumbo-Visma - same time

3. Michael Morkov (DEN) Deceuninck-QuickStep   

4. Emils Liepins (LAT) Trek-Segafredo

5. Elia Viviani (ITA) Cofidis

6. Tadej Pogacar (SLO UAE Team Emirates

7. Anthony Roux (FRA) Groupama-FDJ

8. Chris Harper (AUS) Jumbo-Visma - 0:00:03

9. Joao Almeida (POR) Deceuninck-QuickStep         

10. Fausto Masnada (ITA) Deceuninck-QuickStep

Biography

Favourite Meal: Chicken Caesar salad

Hobbies: Travelling, going to the gym

Inspiration: Father, who was a captain in the UAE army

Favourite read: Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter

Favourite film: The Founder, about the establishment of McDonald's

INVESTMENT PLEDGES

Cartlow: $13.4m

Rabbitmart: $14m

Smileneo: $5.8m

Soum: $4m

imVentures: $100m

Plug and Play: $25m

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Macron’s Ensemble group won 245 seats.

The second-largest group in parliament is Nupes, a leftist coalition led by Jean-Luc Melenchon, which gets 131 lawmakers.

The far-right National Rally fared much better than expected with 89 seats.

The centre-right Republicans and their allies took 61.

Biggest applause

Asked to rate Boris Johnson's leadership out of 10, Mr Sunak awarded a full 10 for delivering Brexit — remarks that earned him his biggest round of applause of the night. "My views are clear, when he was great he was great and it got to a point where we need to move forward. In delivering a solution to Brexit and winning an election that's a 10/10 - you've got to give the guy credit for that, no-one else could probably have done that."

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The internal combustion engine is facing a watershed moment – major manufacturer Volvo is to stop producing petroleum-powered vehicles by 2021 and countries in Europe, including the UK, have vowed to ban their sale before 2040. The National takes a look at the story of one of the most successful technologies of the last 100 years and how it has impacted life in the UAE.

Part three: an affection for classic cars lives on

Read part two: how climate change drove the race for an alternative 

Read part one: how cars came to the UAE

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Yango Deli Tech
Based: UAE
Launch year: 2022
Sector: Retail SaaS
Funding: Self funded

MATCH INFO

Northern Warriors 92-1 (10 ovs)

Russell 37 no, Billings 35 no

Team Abu Dhabi 93-4 (8.3 ovs)

Wright 48, Moeen 30, Green 2-22

Team Abu Dhabi win by six wickets

THE SPECS

Engine: 2.0-litre 4-cylinder turbo

Power: 275hp at 6,600rpm

Torque: 353Nm from 1,450-4,700rpm

Transmission: 8-speed dual-clutch auto

Top speed: 250kph

Fuel consumption: 6.8L/100km

On sale: Now

Price: Dh146,999

TECH SPECS: APPLE WATCH SERIES 8

Display: 41mm, 352 x 430; 45mm, 396 x 484; Retina LTPO OLED, up to 1000 nits, always-on; Ion-X glass

Processor: Apple S8, W3 wireless, U1 ultra-wideband

Capacity: 32GB

Memory: 1GB

Platform: watchOS 9

Health metrics: 3rd-gen heart rate sensor, temperature sensing, ECG, blood oxygen, workouts, fall/crash detection; emergency SOS, international emergency calling

Connectivity: GPS/GPS + cellular; Wi-Fi, LTE, Bluetooth 5.3, NFC (Apple Pay)

Durability: IP6X, water resistant up to 50m, dust resistant

Battery: 308mAh Li-ion, up to 18h, wireless charging

Cards: eSIM

Finishes: Aluminium – midnight, Product Red, silver, starlight; stainless steel – gold, graphite, silver

In the box: Watch Series 8, magnetic-to-USB-C charging cable, band/loop

Price: Starts at Dh1,599 (41mm) / Dh1,999 (45mm)

ANDROID VERSION NAMES, IN ORDER

Android Alpha

Android Beta

Android Cupcake

Android Donut

Android Eclair

Android Froyo

Android Gingerbread

Android Honeycomb

Android Ice Cream Sandwich

Android Jelly Bean

Android KitKat

Android Lollipop

Android Marshmallow

Android Nougat

Android Oreo

Android Pie

Android 10 (Quince Tart*)

Android 11 (Red Velvet Cake*)

Android 12 (Snow Cone*)

Android 13 (Tiramisu*)

Android 14 (Upside Down Cake*)

Android 15 (Vanilla Ice Cream*)

* internal codenames

North Pole stats

Distance covered: 160km

Temperature: -40°C

Weight of equipment: 45kg

Altitude (metres above sea level): 0

Terrain: Ice rock

South Pole stats

Distance covered: 130km

Temperature: -50°C

Weight of equipment: 50kg

Altitude (metres above sea level): 3,300

Terrain: Flat ice
 

Bareilly Ki Barfi
Directed by: Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari
Starring: Kriti Sanon, Ayushmann Khurrana, Rajkummar Rao
Three and a half stars

SPECS

Engine: Two-litre four-cylinder turbo
Power: 235hp
Torque: 350Nm
Transmission: Nine-speed automatic
Price: From Dh167,500 ($45,000)
On sale: Now

SPECS

Engine: 4-litre V8 twin-turbo
Power: 630hp
Torque: 850Nm
Transmission: 8-speed Tiptronic automatic
Price: From Dh599,000
On sale: Now