Muscat: Medical authorities fear child obesity is widespread in Oman, as a study shows 667,809 Omanis are overweight and, of great concern, 445,206 are obese.
The figures are contained in a report published in the medical journal by Sultan Qaboos University (SQU), which states that 30 per cent of the Omani population is overweight and 20 per cent is obese.
According to the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NSCI), there were 2,226,033 citizens registered in the country, as of March 2014.
"Considering the fact that half of the population is below 20 years of age, these figure might be pointing fingers at the prevalence of large-scale child obesity in the country," Dr Ritu Lakhtakia, Head of the Department of Pathology, College of Medicine & Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, wrote in a medical journal published by SQU.
According to the Directorate General of Civil Status, there were 705,156 children under 14 years of age registered in 2013. Yet increases in obesity among children might be occurring, despite a ban on chocolate, sweets, corn balls, chips and cold drinks in several school canteens, in a bid to combat obesity.