Category: Health

The upsurge in the number of youths suffering from diabetes in the United Arab Emirates is raising eyebrows from different parts of the world given the understanding that the country is one of the best in healthcare delivery.  Cleland asserts that the U.A.E. is among the top ten countries affected by both type 1 and type 2 diabetes with most cases involving youths aged around 20 years. The worrying diabetes situation among youths in the U.A.E has been attributed to diverse factors including sedentary lifestyle, bad eating habits, and genes in some instances especially where parents do not adhere to the required health patterns during their pregnancy. The widespread lack of health awareness among the youth on matters of blood pressure, sugar levels, and the Body Mass Index (BMI) has continued contributing to this undesirable trend. However, diabetes could be prevented through wellness initiatives covering both the nutrition and kind of food taken, social engagement, and emphasizing the need for a balanced lifestyle among the youth. These strategies would play an instrumental role in reducing the number of individuals suffering from diabetes significantly in the United Arab Emirates. This paper explicates the nature of diabetes among the youth capturing its nature, causes, and effective prevention strategies. 

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Diabetes Among the Youth in the U.A.E (How It Is)

The increase in incidences of diabetes among the youth in the U.A.E has been on the upward trend in the past five to eight years raising public health concerns across the country. Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes are prevalent among the youth in the country. Doctors are becoming more concerned with the situation and suggest that the unfortunate trend could mean that more than half of the youth population are diagnosed with diabetes before they get to an older age. In the views of the Trade Arabia Business News Information, this also raises concerns over the future of the country in terms of its future prosperity in the GCC region. As diabetes remains prevalent among youth in the U.A.E, there is a significant lack of information on relevant factors such as the blood sugar levels and the Body Mass Index (BMI) among the youth and even their parents. This leaves them frequently exposed to this dreaded condition across the globe. The short-term and long-term effects of diabetes, a chronic disease, have left many doctors and other health professionals in the U.A.E looking for lasting solution to cut its prevalence among the youth. 

Causes of Diabetes Among the Youth in the U.A.E. (Why)

As mentioned in the above overview, most youths in the country suffer both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. The most significant cause of type 1 diabetes is the consumption of pollutants, taking unnecessary medication, and unhealthy eating habits hence leading to the destruction of the baby’s pancreas in the womb, which results to diabetes.  Belal explains that the destruction of the pancreas means that cells responsible for making insulin are destroyed  exposing children to diabetes even as they get into their youth. This is reflective of the lack of wellness initiative among pregnant mothers in the U.A.E as most of them do not have relevant information concerning the kind of food they are supposed to take during their pregnancy. More so, the exposure of the youth to type 1 diabetes through their mothers is indicative of inefficient social engagement, which limits their access to relevant information on the best ways to manage pregnancies. 

More so, type 2 diabetes remains popular among most youths in the country. One of the key causes of type 2 diabetes is obesity, which emanates from poor eating habits among youths. Most of them are being exposed to diabetes through poor feeding habits on quick fixes such as fast foods. This is reflective of non-adherence to a balanced lifestyle among most youths who are exposed to undesirable feeding habits by their own parents from a younger age.  El-Sharkawy explains that diets rich in carbohydrates play a key role in contributing to the existence of this chronic condition among the youth in the country. Additionally, diets rich in sugars and trans-fats aggravate the whole situation across the country hence affecting the youth. Obesity inhibits the breakdown of insulin hence leading to increased chances of diagnosis of diabetes among the young population. The worrying eating habits are directly influenced by their parents through the lack of regulation on the kind of food that is supposed to be eaten. 

Another key cause of type 2 diabetes among the youth in the U.A.E is imbalanced lifestyle exhibited by the lack of exercise. Most of them tend to lead sedentary lifestyles that are not characterized by any form of exercise.  Hajat, Harrison, and Shather hold the view that the youth spend most of their time on television and other less physical activities hence increasing their chances of being exposed to diabetes. The worst case scenario is that there is no follow up among parents on the sedentary lifestyles that youths lead hence increasing chances of the disease among individuals. The lack of physical exercise has continued worrying many medics in the country because it is tipped to worsen matters and the prevalence of the diabetes cases. 

However, the key issue of concern is that there is a dangerous lack of health awareness among most youths in the U.A.E. According to Cleland, a staggering number of youths in the country are not aware of issues related to blood pressure and the Body Mass Index (BMI) hence being easily exposed to the disease. This is a reflection of the lack of social engagement especially in regard to communication and the subsequent prevention strategies of the disease. There is no mental adherence to the need to attend free blood sugar levels and risk screenings offered by health institutions in the country. This attitude has also been taken as part of the key contributors to the increasing trend of the disease among youths in the country. The failure to attend screenings means that they will be unaware of the disease and its effect on their health across their lives. 

Preventing Diabetes in the U.A.E

The availability of the state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatments facilities in the country such as the Al Zahra Private Hospital Dubai raises hopes of curbing the prevalence of diabetes among youths in the U.A.E. Notably, several strategies could be adopted to ensure this chronic disease is effectively prevented hence promoting proper health standards in the future of the country. 

The first relevant strategy of preventing diabetes among the youth in the U.A.E is the promotion of wellness programs among both pregnant women and the youth. As aforementioned, diabetes type 1 seems to emanate from poor feeding habits and undesirable lifestyles among mothers. On the other hand, youths are exposed to diabetes type 2 because of unhealthy foods. Therefore, chances of diabetes occurrence among youths could be prevented through the improvement in nutrition and the kinds of foods eaten by individuals. For instance, in respect to the kind of food, the diet should be tuned up with the inclusion of whole grains in the diet instead of consuming larger amounts of highly processed carbohydrates and others foods rich in fats, especially fast foods.  The adoption of whole grains would be critical in the prevention process because they contain an entire package of elements that improves health while fostering better health among individuals.  Hunter, Robb, and Brownie agree that the availability of fiber and bran in whole grains plays an instrumental role in inhibiting digestive enzymes from breaking down starches into glucose hence leading to declined increases in the level of blood sugar and insulin. Therefore, encouraging nutritional and diet intakes would go a long way into preventing the occurrence of both types of diabetes leading to a better country with healthier youths in the future. There needs to be consistency in terms of how the diet should be followed by these individuals from an early age into their adulthood. 

The second critical strategy of preventing the prevalence of diabetes among youths in the U.A.E is the promotion of social engagement with adherence to both the physical and mental aspect.  Trade Arabia Business News Information notes that that sedentary lifestyles have been a key cause of diabetes among most youths in the country and this would be significantly prevented through the introduction of health clubs (fitness centers) that would ensure youths have the opportunity to exercise frequently. The use of health clubs would be critical in ensuring that youths have an opportunity to engage in frequent physical exercises that boost their overall body functions hence minimizing chances of exposure to this chronic disease. Again, it is vital to encourage them to take part of exercises without being held back by anything. In this same respect, improving the mental aspect of youths in respect to understanding blood sugar levels and other health risks would be important in preventing the further occurrence of the condition among youths. Belal opines that the mental element could be effectively improved through communication/information sharing through awareness events educating individuals about the need to access frequent diabetes screenings. More so, they would be educated on the need to stay away from all factors that might increase the risk of being exposed to diabetes in the course of their lives. The mentality of youths toward the understanding of the nature of the diseases and its regulation measures through blood sugar controls would help in the assurance of a better future and the management of the disease because of the changed attitudes. Therefore, the overall prevention strategy would be attained with a change in the mental states of youths in respect to the need to access healthcare frequently with a view of checking on their risk levels. 

The last vital strategy of preventing the increase in cases of diabetes in the U.A.E is the promotion of a balanced lifestyle. The nature of the lifestyle led by many youths in the country has remained a key challenge in the control of diabetes over the years hence leading to wider chances of this chronic disease over the years. Issues of imbalanced lifestyles comes about because of the lack of exercise and poor feeding habits among youths. However, prevention would only be achieved through follow-up activities on the nature of the lifestyle led by youths. For instance, there could be a follow-up on the kinds of foods they consume to ensure they are not eating fast foods that lead to obesity in the course of their lives.  El-Sharkawy recommends that apart from following up the eating habits, it would be crucial to follow up on their frequency of exercising for the promotion of better health standards. Nevertheless, it should be understood that the promotion of better health standards remains a significant challenge in the country because it is not easy to force individuals to get to exercise or consume particular foods. However, a balanced lifestyle could be promoted by both parents and doctors through engagement programs explaining the importance of such lifestyles in the lives of individuals, especially the youth. 


In conclusion, the rise of cases of diabetes among youths in the U.A.E has remained one of the key challenges for the public health sector in the country. The availability of high quality health facilities in many emirates has not stopped the surge in diabetes cases across the country. The most worrying situation is that youths, who are the future of the country, are more vulnerable to both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Parents tend to increases cases of diabetes to their children especially when they do not adhere to the required eating and medication standards during their pregnancy. This leads to the destruction of the pancreas and the subsequent cases of diabetes into the youth of many individuals. On the other hand, obesity arising out of poor eating habits is also a key cause of the chronic disease. The lack of physical exercise is also frequently blamed for the continued existence of diabetes among most youths in the United Arab Emirates. The best prevention strategies would range from the improvements of wellness in terms of nutrition and foods taken by individuals. More so, social engagement, especially awareness programs could ensure that instances of diabetes are mitigated in the most appropriate manner into the future. The final assistive aspect is the promotion of a balanced lifestyle among the youth by ensuring they exercise frequently while observing the required dietary intakes. The United Arab Emirates has the ability of controlling the increasing cases of diabetes among the youth hence securing its future. This should be done strategically with the understanding of relevant steps and measures that focus on positivity in the fight against this chronic disease. 

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