Morocco’s High Commissioner for Planning, Ahmed Lahlimi, sounded alarm bells on the rising numbers of obesity in the country, announcing that 10 million Moroccans are under the threat of being dangerously overweight.
According to Lahlimi, 10 million Moroccans are actually overweight while 300,000 have actually entered the phase of obesity, 63 percent of whom are women.
The rise of obesity rates, Lahlimi argued, is due to unhealthy food habits Moroccans are increasingly developing, especially in urban areas, which include a high consumption of fast food.
The minister has called on relevant groups to conduct studies on the calories these meals contain and find ways of reducing them.
Info-graphic: Obesity in Morocco (Design by Farwa Rizwan/ Al Arabiya English)
On the other hand, Lahlimi noted, the number of Moroccans suffering from anorexia does not exceed 660,000, which he considered “marginal” when compared to obesity statistics.
Moroccan sociologist, Karima al-Wadghiri, said the percentage of overweight women exceeds men owing to an intentional desire to gain weight on the part of Moroccan women.
“As a counter-reaction to the recent obsession with weight loss and linking beauty to slimness, a large number of women decided to prove the opposite, encouraged by the fact Moroccan men prefer larger women,” Wadghiri said.
This, she explained, is particularly applicable to the south of the country, where the relationship between beauty and chubbiness is part of the culture.