let's talk irony for a moment. the newspapers here in dubai are full of the current epidemic of diabetes that is affecting residents - expats and, more seriously, emiratis. within a couple of generations, the local population has gone from a limited but reasonably healthy diet to a full-on, gorge yourself, fast food addiction. to see someone add six teaspoons of sugar to a small cup of coffee is not unusual. to watch parents sit their young children down with buckets of chicken or giant tubs of ice cream is common.
all the more ironic because the standard local diet of large servings of fresh vegetables in a meze followed by simply grilled meat or fish manages to avoid most of the pitfalls of the western diet.
depending who you listen to, at least a third of the adult population has a serious problem with diabetes and the number of children being classed as severely or morbidly obese grows year on year.
which is why i reacted with horror at the news that the world's largest sweet shop, some 10,000 square feet, has just opened in dubai and is already a key shopping/leisure destination. one colleague went recently and racked up a bill of over $75 in just a few minutes.
this cannot be good news.