Abu Dhabi is the biggest state in the UAE. It has ambitious plans to fight chronic diseases. Nearly 20% of the UAE’s population is diabetic. Abu Dhabi is small enough and rich enough to fight the problem comprehensively.
The government launched a health-insurance scheme in 2008. All adult Emiratis were offered a comprehensive health screening. By May 2010, 92% of them had enrolled in the programme. The results were shocking.
Thirty-five per cent were obese and a further 32% were overweight. These figures were similar to those in America, but, worryingly, Emiratis were fatter at younger ages.
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