Health in Kuwait

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Life expectancy at birth in 2013 was 78 for men and 79 for women.[1]


Obesity is a growing health concern in Kuwait. According to Forbes magazine, Kuwait ranked 8 on a 2007 list of fattest countries with around 74.2% of Kuwait's total population with an unhealthy weight.[2] In 2011, the number of bariatric operations in Kuwait was 5,000.[3]

From 1980 to 1993, the percentage of individuals age 18–29 that were overweight rose from 30.6% to 54.4% and the percentage of those who were overweight increased from 12.8% to 24.6%.[4] The number of women who are either overweight or obese has jumped to 80% in 2010.[5] In the book "Top 10 of Everything 2011", the women of Kuwait ranked 5th for the highest percentage of obesity.[6] In 2000, it was determined that amongst children age 10–14, 30% of boys and 31.8% of girls were overweight.[7]

According to the Dasman Center for Research and Treatment of Diabetes, 15% of the adult population has diabetes, with 50% of adults over 45 living with the disease. 22 of every 100 children have developed diabetes as a result of an unhealthy weight.[8]

The increased risk of excess weight or obesity is due to a combination of overeating energy-dense, high-fat foods and sedentary lifestyles.[5] Meals consisting of processed ingredients with preservatives, saturated fats, and hydrogenated oil are preferred over traditional foods. Advertisements for unhealthy junk food are seen everywhere and public schools sell candy, chocolate, and soda to their students.[9] Specifically in Kuwaiti universities, other factors include eating between meals, marital status, and a male domination of sports.[4]


A smoking ban in public places was introduced by Law No 15 of 1995 but it is not strictly enforced.[10] New regulations were introduced in 2015.[11]

Smoking while driving is considered one of the major causes of accidents, so that the General Traffic Department is considering enforcing the law that bans motorists smoking inside their vehicles while driving.[12]


  1. ^ "Kuwait". World Health Organisation. Retrieved 22 December 2015.
  2. ^ Lauren Streib (February 8, 2007). "World's Fattest Countries". Forbes. Retrieved 2009-02-12.
  3. ^ "Kuwaitis fight fat with stomach stapling – Kuwait becomes one of the world's fattest countries". Kuwait Times. 8 November 2012. Archived from the original on 13 April 2013. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
  4. ^ a b Al-Isa, A.N. (1999). Obesity among Kuwaiti University Students: An Explorative Study. p. 223.
  5. ^ a b "Kuwait: Nutrition Country Profiles".
  6. ^ Saeid, Ahmad (2010). Kuwaiti Women Place Fifth Worldwide in Obesity.
  7. ^ "Global Childhood Overweight". IASO. 2010.
  8. ^ Nacheva, Velina (2009). Dasman Center Raises Nutrition Awareness.
  9. ^ Al-Qatari, Hussain (2010). Packing Obesity: A Peek into a Student's Lunch Box.
  10. ^ "Up In Smoke". Kuwait Times. 11 June 2015. Retrieved 22 December 2015.
  11. ^ "Kuwait Bans Smoking in Malls and Public Indoors". Kuwaitiful. 26 July 2015. Retrieved 22 December 2015.
  12. ^ "Kuwait plans to enforce ban on smoking inside vehicles". Arabian Business. 10 August 2015. Retrieved 22 December 2015.