Section IV: Food Safety and Public Health

Title: Diet-related non-communicable diseases in Saudi Arabia

Author(s): Khalid A. Madani

Address: Clinical Nutrition, Ministry of Health, Saudi Society for Food and Nutrition, P.O. Box 100579, Jeddah 21311, Saudi Arabia

Reference: Science,Technology and Sustainability in the Middle East and North Africa pp. 229 - 244

Abstract/Summary: In the last four decades, Saudi Arabia has had rapid and radical changes in all fields, with major improvements in the provision of public services, particularly in health, education and social services. The agricultural sector is also flourishing with heavy investment underway. These changes have profound effect on food consumption patterns and health and nutritional status of the people. Disease trends have changed dramatically from infectious, parasitic diseases and severe cases of under nutrition, to affluence related health problems like obesity, diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular diseases. The purpose of this paper is to review the current situation of these chronic diseases which are related to change in diet and lifestyle in Saudi Arabia. Health statistics show that seven out of ten leading causes of death are related to this group of diseases. It can be concluded from the available data that diet-related non-communicable diseases have become major public health problems in Saudi Arabia, and there is an urgent need for a health strategy to prevent and control these diseases.

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