Kuwait has registered the highest rate of overweight and obese individuals in the Arab world, with a startling 77 percent of its population overweight and 40 percent considered obese.
The alarming statistic was revealed by Dr. Wafaa Al Hashash, a prominent consultant in internal medicine and gastroenterologist, during an exclusive conversation with Al Seyassah newspaper. Further compounding this public health concern, she also said that obesity has become the fifth leading risk factor for death in the country.
Global obesity rates have risen sharply, and Kuwait is no exception. Dr. Al Hashash underscored the urgency by stating, “Reducing its rate is necessary for the treatment and prevention of its diseases.” A particularly worrisome trend she highlighted is the growing prevalence of obesity among young Kuwaitis aged 18 to 29. This presents significant challenges for future generations, given the vast health implications associated with obesity.
Elaborating on the health risks of obesity, Dr. Al Hashash pointed out the accompanying diseases such as general fatigue, breathing difficulties, disrupted sleep patterns, snoring, pains in joints and spine, and esophageal reflux.
Additionally, obesity affects hormonal imbalances, leading to early puberty in girls, irregular menstruation cycles, and delayed puberty in boys.
The recent introduction of “stomach Botox” as an obesity treatment has garnered attention in medical circles. When questioned about this procedure, Dr. Al Hashash described it as a non-surgical method performed through gastroscopy.
The technique involves injecting Botox into the stomach, which causes its muscles to relax. As a result, the stomach’s muscle contractions slow down, allowing patients to feel full for extended periods.
This reduces their overall food intake. While the effects of these injections last about six months, the procedure can be safely repeated.
However, Dr. Al Hashash cautioned that Botox is not a one-size-fits-all solution. She clarified that it’s best suited for individuals with a Body Mass Index (BMI) between 27 and 40, primarily those struggling with appetite control.
She further added that pregnant or nursing women, children under 18 years old, and those allergic to botox should avoid this treatment. Remarkably, the procedure is deemed beneficial for individuals who have regained weight post-gastric sleeve surgery or those grappling with binge eating disorders and health complications due to obesity.