Word on the street: Health concerns in Oman

Public opinion on the streets of Muscat

Do you think obesity is a public health concern? What are the factors leading to people being overweight?

Hesham Talaat

Hesham Talaat, Teacher

Obesity is a disease that people get due to their lifestyle and it is a concern. People today have become lazier and fail to indulge in any form of physical activity. All they do is get into the car and pick up fast food. But, it’s a choice they make consciously.

Ibrahim salim Ali Ahmed

Ibrahim Salim Ali Ahmed, Student

The number of fast food restaurants has increased in Oman and this is sure to contribute to obesity numbers as well. The main reason for weight increase is lack of exercise. It is important to play some kind of sports at least twice a week.

Abdullah Ramadan

Abdullah Ramadan, Teacher

Obesity is one of the most serious health problems not only in Oman but across the world. The reason for this is not only addiction to junk food amongst the young generation but also lack of exercise or sports which is crucial to stay in shape and healthy.


Mostafa Abdulwahab, Sales executive

Obesity has been on the rise, but the situation is not so bad to be called a major public health concern. Sedentary lifestyle and the culture of eating out are primary causes for rise in obesity. It is also due to changing socio-economic balance, where more people are now migrating to cities to take up office jobs. 

ahmed mosaad

Ahmed Mosaad, Marketing executive

With rise in obesity, other related ailments like diabetes and heart problems are also on the increase. This calls for better awareness among people regarding obesity. Consumption of junk food and the advent of technology which forces people to stay glued to their mobile handsets without any physical activity are major factors.

mohammed rahim

Mohammed Rahim, Private sector employee

We have always heard from our elders that obesity is the root cause for many diseases. Now, it is becoming a real headache for health administrators as more people eat out and engage less in physical activities. The use of mobile phones has also made most of us inactive.

Despite Oman getting ample sunshine, 41.5% women and 54% children under the age of 5 suffer from vitamin D deficiency. Do you think this is due to decreased outdoor activity? Also, do you know our best source of Vitamin D is exposure to sun?


Megha Gopan, Operations executive

Exposure to sun is the best source of Vitamin D. Despite being blessed with abundant sunshine many women and children under five years suffer from Vitamin D deficiency in Oman. You do not need to go to the beach to get sunshine. You can get it even in the premises of your own house. It is not due to decreased outdoor activity or lack of knowledge but some sort of social obligation that discourages people from exposing themselves to sun.

Anu Yohannan

Anu Yohannan, Homemaker

Women in Oman are no more dependent on men for outdoor work. They drive and manage home and office well. They know the benefits of exposure to Vitamin D and ensure newborns are exposed to sun as well. However, I believe they are so busy taking care of others that it becomes difficult to think about themselves. So, other members in the family should help them.

Dr Nisha Mariam Thomas, Lecturer To avoid exposure to sun, women cover themselves a lot. Children too are dressed the same way. What follows is that though they are under the sun, they do not get sufficient Vitamin D. There should be more awareness about how important sunrays are for human beings.


Chandrika Gupta, Homemaker

This is surely due to less outdoor activities. We may blame it on the harsh weather conditions during summer months. But what about the winter, that is so pleasant? How many of us actually go out and spend time in the sun? Yes, I know that the best source of Vitamin D is exposure to sun.


Divya Nair, Private sector employee

It is due to very limited exposure to sun. People mostly prefer going out in the evenings, which does not help. Yes I am aware of the importance of exposure to sun.


Ibrahim Saleh, IT sector

Oman is sunshine-rich. Yet, so many people suffer from Vitamin D (which is also known as the sunshine vitamin) deficiency. Quite unfortunate. Few hours of spending time outdoors in the daytime is very good for health. People at later stages end up popping pills due to low Vitamin D.

How much time do you spend in physical activities in a week? What do you think are the reasons for a sedentary lifestyle?

Arman Karim

Arman Karim, Businessman

I invest my time in health activities quite often. I am aware that health is wealth and take utmost care of it. I run on the beach for 30 minutes for five days every evening. I blame the corporate world mainly for the sedentary lifestyle.

Moidur Rahman

Moidur Rahman, Station manager

Sadly, I do not exercise at all. Although, I really want to engage in some outdoor activities. My office and family take most of my time and energy. Fast food and smartphones are what make most people lazy and sedentary.

Mansoor Karim

Mansoor Karim, Private sector employee

Till a few years back I hardly engaged in any outdoor activity. But, then I started to put on weight which affected my efficiency. Finally, I took to jogging and some trekking as well. I feel better and happy now. Also, I go for group yogas thrice a week. Sedentary life is because of too many electronic gadgets and expectations from office and home.


Shreyaa Gopal, HR executive

 I try to walk as much as I can. The hot weather here makes people sedentary and lethargic. Going for a walk here is difficult once summer begins.

Khalid Khalifa al Rahbi, Cashier

Physical activity is necessary to remain healthy. So, I try to keep active whether it’s sports or going out on walks with family and friends. Office jobs and oppressive summer heat are the main reasons for a sedentary lifestyle.


Umaima Salim Sultan al Hosni, Branch in-charge

I think there is truth to the saying, ‘A healthy mind in a healthy body’. Day-to-day work and family obligations keep me quite active without having to go to a gym or exercise. The heat, television, social media and office jobs can all contribute to creating an unhealthy sedentary lifestyle.

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