Body image, health, and modernity: Women's perspectives and experiences in the United Arab Emirates

Source of Publication

Asia-Pacific Journal of Public Health


The countries of the Arab Gulf have experienced accelerated development and urbanization over the last 50 years. Changes in health have likewise been dramatic: Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the UAE now have some of the highest proportions of obese/overweight people in the world, with correspondingly high rates of chronic disease. In the UAE, particularly high rates of obesity/overweight have been reported among middle-aged Emirati women, but other problems relating to health and nutrition are starting to be identified in younger age groups as well. This article describes preliminary data from a project among young Emirati women in the UAE. This study examines how these women cope with the increased availability of fast food, changing work patterns, and evolving ideas about body image, "risk," and health within a larger context of increasing chronic disease and weight gain throughout the UAE. © 2010 APJPH.

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date




Author First name, Last name, Institution

Sarah S. Trainer, Zayed University