Healthy Lifestyles in the Arab World: between Nutrition Economics and Food Politics
The Arab Countries have witnessed significant lifestyle changes due to globalization, rapid urbanization, availability of high- fat and dense-caloric foods, satellite TV, introduction of laborsaving devices at home and the workplace, reliance on modern means of transportation, increased dependence on computer and telecommunication technology, and decreased occupational-work demands. These lifestyle changes have had a considerable impact on alteration in traditional diets, reducing the physical requirements of daily life and have encouraged sedentary lifestyles amongst youth and adults. Consequently, such remarkable lifestyle transformation is thought to be greatly responsible for the nutrition transition and the epidemic of chronic diseases in the whole Arabic region. Physical inactivity and unhealthy dietary patterns are considered among the leading causes of metabolic risk and major non-communicable diseases, including obesity, cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer, thus contributing substantially to the burden of disease, death, and disability in the Arab countries.