Britain’s Prince Charles suggested that Middle East government’s ban the world’s fast food giant:
“Have you got anywhere with McDonald’s? Have you tried getting it banned? That’s the key,” the prince said to a nutritionist at the centre.
His comments were made during a trip to the Middle East while visiting the Imperial College London Diabetes Centre in Abu Dhabi.
What surprised me more than Charles’ preposterous and off-handed comments (ban junk food?) were the statistics quoted regarding diabetes and the Middle East:
The GCC countries have the worst record in the world for diabetes. According to The International Diabetes Federation in 2003, the top five countries with the highest percentage of adults with diabetes were Nauru (30.2%), UAE (20.1%), Qatar (16%), Bahrain (14.9%), and Kuwait (12.8%).
Obesity and inherited predisposition are the major causes or diabetes – and both factors appear to be at epidemic proportions in the Middle East.
In Bahrain, 83% of women are obese or overweight according to a 2005 report by the International Obesity Task Force, a London-based think tank. In the United Arab Emirates, the figure is 74%; in Lebanon it is 75%.
Charles was in the region to help the launch of a campaign that will help educate and empower individuals to both prevent and treat diabetes. This certainly should be commended. Ironically, we probably would not have heard about his trip here in the states w/out his comments concerning McDonalds.