With over half of its population overweight, the world’s wealthiest country Qatar is the obesity capital of the world.

The energy rich Gulf country, which has the highest per capita wealth in the world, was ranked as the world’s wealthiest country by Forbes this year

However, it has seen an increase in obesity related health problems, a report in the UK’s Daily Mail said.

Most overweight country

According to the report, half of all adults in the state are classed as obese and 17 per cent are suffering from diabetes, making it the most overweight country in the world.

An unhealthy combination of low levels of exercise and a growing popularity of fast food outlets have led to concern among local health activists.

“It’s a very, very serious problem facing the future of Qatar,” Mr Sharoud Al-Jundi Matthis, the programme manager at the Qatar Diabetes Association, said.

Qataris make up just 250,000 of a population of 1.7 million and the Government hopes the development of sport in the country, through the hosting of the FIFA World Cup 2022 and bidding for the Olympic Games in 2020, will help boost interest in exercise and outdoor pursuits.

(This article was published on April 15, 2012)
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