The UAE is encouraging people to become fit and sustain a healthy lifestyle by offering incentive programmes, setting up free weight care centres, and introducing fitness challenges to the region. In light of this, new YouGov research shows that almost half (48%) of UAE residents are currently looking to lose weight as part of their goal for 2019.
The study finds that just under three in ten (28%) are happy to maintain their current weight while one in seven (14%) are looking to bulk up. The remaining 10% do not have any weight goals. Women are notably more likely than men to be prioritising losing weight (59% to 42%) while the opposite is true when it comes to bulking up, where one in six men (16%) want to bulk up compared to one in eleven women (9%).
Among those with a weight goal, the most popular path to achieving it is through diet and exercise (43%). One in four (26%) plan to only use exercise while one in five (20%) will just try to hit their target through changing their diet. The remainder will either use other solutions such as pills or protein shakes (2%) or are currently unable to do anything towards their goal (8%). YouGov’s data shows that men are more likely to prefer exercising (30% vs 19%), while women are more inclined towards diets (24% vs 18%).
Among those exercising regularly in order to achieve their body goals, running is the most popular activity (38%), followed by brisk walking (37%) and exercising at gym (36%). However, the research reveals there are notable differences between the genders. While men are more likely to run (42% vs 30%), women are more likely to walk briskly (45% vs 33%).
For those trying to manage their weight through their diet, half (50%) rely on their own knowledge and follow a diet which they know is good for their body. The other approaches people take are to follow a trending Internet diet (29%), do one suggested by a friend (23%), adhere to a diet recommended by an expert (22%), or purely keep tabs on what they eat to make sure they eat healthily (19%).
Speaking about this, Kerry McLaren, Head of YouGov Omnibus, said, “With the various health initiatives being promoted in the UAE, it is clear that weight issues are a real concern among residents. Our research shows that most people have some sort of body goal – whether it be to lose weight, bulk up, or just maintain their current condition. Across the board men and women differ both in terms of what they are hoping to achieve and how they plan to execute it.”