(MENAFN - Arab News) The Saudi Diabetes & Endocrine Association (SDEA) called for greater coordination between all the government and private sector health institutions to fight diabetes and obesity.
Addressing a press conference, SDEA President Abdul Aziz Al-Turki said: "Our goal is to increase awareness about diabetes, preventative measures, and advocacy."
According to the World Health Organization, Saudi Arabia ranks third among the percentage of obese patients in the world.
There are more than 3 million children suffering from obesity, which constitutes almost 35- 50 percent of the Kingdom's population.
The latest statistics shows that 44 percent of the Kingdom's obesity patients are women, while 38 percent are men.
Moreover, the organization expects that by 2030, more than 500 million Saudis will suffer from diabetes or obesity. The statistics also confirmed that around 5 million people died in 2011, due to diabetes.
Basem Futa, head of the SDEA information section, said obesity among children is very dangerous, as obesity is strongly associated with the risk of developing high cholesterol, hypertension, respiratory ailments, depression and type 2 diabetes.
During the press conference, Futa further elaborated, that 28 percent of the Kingdom's population are diabetic, 26 percent suffer from high blood pressure and 19 percent have high cholesterol. He warned that obesity is the main cause of cancers and heart attacks, as well as high blood pressure and various other diseases.
Muhammad Al-Sayas, the medical manager in SDEA, warned that obesity is one of the causes of breast cancer, kidney cancer and colon cancer.
Ahmed Al-Sunni, chairperson of the scientific committee at SFDE, said unfortunately people are still unaware of the risks of these fatal diseases.
Abdul Aziz Al-Mulhim, a former member of the Shoura council, and Dr. Shadi Anis, were among the press conference attendees.