9 Major reasons behind Obesity in Saudi Arabia

I moved to Saudi Arabia and I got fat: This is an extremely common occurrence which every man realizes once he has shifted to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Expat men, whether they are on short term or long term contracts, usually move to Saudi Arabia alone.

They get so busy with work and their daily lives that they don’t give a thought to their own health. It isn’t until the clothes they brought along don’t fit, that they realize that they have put up some weight. 

1-Public Transport: The cities are not designed for walking, and there is no mass public transport so there is no point to walk anywhere, anytime.

2-High Temperature: The temperatures also contribute to making it unbearable to walk outside, for at least 10 months of the year.

3-Excessive Fast Food: No working man has the time to indulge in fine dining or healthy dining. The main choice of food is fast food, which we end up eating multiple times a day. Plus, all fast food, ranging from our local shawarmas to every international fast food chain serve French fries with every meal. 

That certainly does not help us on the weighing scale. Even when we find the time to go out with our male colleagues, we tend to show our manhood with our portion sizes, which again adds to our waistline.

4-Limited Entertainment Options: Working in a country with so many races and cultures can often prove to be extremely stressful, as most men would agree, and we beat the stress by eating.

This is also since because there are very limited entertainment options, we only find entertainment in shopping and our favorite thing to do, which is to EAT.

5-Hard Working: We work hard and we deserve to treat ourselves, or at least we think we need treats. This means we can indulge ourselves in a piece of cake, or maybe three whole cakes. Since we are alone, no one can stop us (sinister laughs).

6-Mayonnaise: Who doesn’t love it? but it doesn’t help our waistlines when it is found in every sandwich, burger and even some shawarmas that we consume, which is basically everything we eat.

7-Ice Creams: So now that we have consumed our savory treats in abundance, we need something sweet to balance it off.

This can lead us in a variety of directions, we may choose to visit one of the many ice-cream parlors and indulge in some ice-cream, or we may choose to get a cake from the bakery. We may even get a dozen doughnuts.

8-Far away from Family: At the end of the day, we are alone, at home, thinking of our families. We need comfort food, and since we have nobody to impress with us over here, we can consume any amount of food we may deem necessary.

9-Everyone is Heavy Weight Champion: Also, when most men around me are usually larger than or as large as me, I don’t feel motivated to improve my weight. There is no one to compete you:-)

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Steve has been living in Saudi Arabia since 2013 and writing about Saudi rules, regulations, guides, and procedures since then.