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Food Obsession

Badrya Darwish

Badrya Darwish

I am very glad that for a change we have been ranked in the top 10 spots globally. Guess where we hit the top ten spot? It was in a study about the number of fast food outlets that a fast-food chain has per capita. In it, Kuwait came 10th amongst densely populated countries such as the US (a country of over 310 million), Canada (with a population of nearly 40 million) and Japan (with a population of around 120 million).

What do these findings mean? Kuwait, a country of around 3 million, is a fast-food consuming nation. Such a discovery is scary because the other day I read a study on the Gulf region stating that Kuwait is crowned as the world's leader in diabetes. Now these statistics are terrifying. Unfortunately, diabetes is not a disease that only adults in Kuwait suffer from. It is affecting young children too.

The study I mentioned earlier, by the way, was done just for just one fast-food chain. Forget the other 1,001 restaurants, take-away sandwich places, falafel outlets or restaurants. I think that by now you are getting hungry sitting in your offices. Accept my apologies but this is a fact of life here in Kuwait.  You might argue with me that there are many restaurants in any city around the world. I understand that. People need to eat and people need to run a business. I object to the fact that food has become the way of life here. It has become an obsession. There is no awareness. And to prove my words, you can just check our ranking on diabetes in the world.

Add to the many restaurants in Kuwait housewives who cook at home trying to make more money. They have cooks and chefs at home. Just browse through Instagram and Facebook and you will see a flood of advertisements about kibba, vine leaves, pastries and cakes. Don't ever forget cupcakes! They are very important for the nation. Of course, these home-run operations where Mama cooks with her entourage of maids who are not professional, are often unlicensed. The municipality cannot control these operations because they cannot enter the kitchens in these houses. And you wonder why are we obese and rank high in diabetes - one of the most dangerous diseases which has scary side effects.

On a serious note, guys. I think all of us - the government and nation - should rethink our way of life; if not for us, we should do this for the kids. Schools should have educational programs for children teaching them how to eat and what to eat. These programs should be in both private and government schools. I would like to see an awareness campaign for the whole nation done by the government, ministry of health, ministry of education, the ministry of no-ministry or whoever. At least let's encourage walking, jogging and sports to balance our love for food.

By Badrya Darwish

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This article was published on 10/11/2013