Up to 92 percent of Kuwaiti high school students indulge in regular drinking of sugary soft drinks and highly sweetened fruit juices, compared to drinking milk and dairy products, a study conducted by a group of Kuwaiti physicians has shown.
Though up to 30 percent of these high schoolers have been found by the scientific study to drink adequate quantities of milk and 45 percent of them to eat dairy products, still the percentage of 92 percent of them drinking sugary juices and soft drinks is considered very high, said Dr.Ghalia Al-Mutairi, director of the media bureau at the ministry of health, in a press statement today.
The study, she noted, indicates that the students who drank more sweetened drinks shunned dairy products. This was true among male students, 28 percent of whom may be described as overweight and 23 percent as obese.
Almost 80 percent of the students in the study showed enough knowledge of the importance of milk and dairy products, she said, emphasizing that drinking soft drinks and sugary fruit juices has become a worldwide phenomenon in the past twenty years, leading to the widespread existence of chronic diseases as diabetes and osteoporosis.
The study was conducted on 190 students from high schools in the Al-Ahmadi area, south of Kuwait city, aged between 16 to 18 years, of whom 98 were female and 92 male, said Al-Mutairi who stressed that results of the study would be instrumental in her bureau's efforts to mount an awareness campaign to inform students and the public alike of the health risks of drinking of soft drinks and sugary fruit juices.
The group of Kuwaiti physicians who conducted the study was headed by Dr. Fawaz Al-Rifaie who is chief of the pediatric department in the Al-Addan hospital. The group's study has been published by the World Health Journal of the Middle East and aims primarily at sounding alarm about the increasing rates of obesity in Kuwait.