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Combating obesity in Saudi Arabia: How a changing eating culture is transforming the market

The Global Obesity Observatory ranks Saudi Arabia 17th in the world in terms of obesity prevalence, three places below the U.S. and close neighbours Qatar and Kuwait. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Vision 2030 reform initiative includes targets for reducing obesity and diabetes by the end of the decade. In order to encourage healthy eating, the health ministry began forcing eateries to publish calorie information on menus. Fast food restaurants, from worldwide favourites like McDonald’s to local brands like Al Baik, are still common in the kingdom’s major cities, although they are facing increasingly diverse competition. In Saudi Arabia, an increasing number of eateries are selling meal plans that deliver salads and other healthy meals to customers’ homes and offices. To keep up with demand, Basil Chehayeb, a Lebanese national who operates Reshape in the Saudi capital Riyadh, said he had launched two more offices in the last 18 months.

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