Gallons of fizzy make Emiratis go pop!

Published March 25th, 2013 - 05:00 GMT
UAE residents are drinking almost three times the global average.
UAE residents are drinking almost three times the global average.

UAE residents are guzzling almost three times more fizzy drinks than the global average - and it’s leading to bulging waistlines and diabetes, the world’s largest ever study of soft drink consumption has found.

On average, residents in the UAE down more than a 103 litres of fizzy drinks each, per year. The UAE was found to have the fifth highest rate of fizzy drinks consumption in the world - higher than any other country outside the American continent.

  1. A report on the study, written in conjunction with officials at the World Health Organisation, warned that for every gallon increase in soda consumption per person, five per cent of adults in the country become overweight, a further one per cent become obese, while one in 300 adults contracts diabetes.

The broad study suggested a strong link between diabetes in a country and its consumption of soft drinks. One of the British authors, Cambridge University sociology professor David Stuckler, told 7DAYS that the findings were “very important to the UAE, which has very high rates of sugar consumption and diabetes”.

The authors studied sugary drink sales (excluding fruit juices and sports drinks) in 75 countries over four years, as well as World Health Organisation statistics on the countries’ obesity levels and the International Diabetes Federation’s figures for diabetes.

They found that the average person in the world consumes 43 litres of soft drinks, while this reached 103 litres in the UAE.

Mexico had the world’s highest soft drink consumption followed by the US, Argentina, Chile and then the UAE.

In response to the report, one Dubai-based nutritionist said she had clients who were consuming up to 20 cans of soft drinks a day and were “addicted and need help”. Rashi Chowdhary, who runs the website, said: “In these cases, I try to bring them down to five cans a day. But you cannot immediately eliminate sugar because they will get withdrawal symptoms, you have to get to the psychological roots of the problem.”


Do kids have too many fizzy drinks these days? Why would the UAE have so many? Tell us what you think below.

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