Objective: Along with rapid economic growth, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has undergone enormous sociocultural changes. Consequently, sociocultural and psychological factors, along with malnutrition and physical inactivity, have contributed to the high obesity rate. The objective of this study is to assess the long-term impact of these new emerging factors on obesity among women in the UAE via mathematical modeling. Methods: A differential equation model was developed considering psychological/social factors in population dynamics. It predicts the long-term prevalence of obesity among women in the UAE under these factors by 2070. Computer simulations and a sensitivity analysis of the model were conducted to measure the impact of these factors on obesity. Results: The model predicts the following: 80.07% of female UAE nationals will become overweight or have obesity and 60.19% will have obesity by 2070, and the population with abnormal eating behavior will increase to 15% by 2070. Psychological/social factors aggravate the obesity problems and can cause abnormal eating behavior to develop with little effect on weight reduction. Conclusions: The obesity rate of female UAE nationals will continue to rise by 2070. Rising abnormal eating behavior caused by psychological/social factors is an emerging issue and should be recognized as a sign of escalating obesity problems in the UAE.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Nutrition and Dietetics