68.3% of MENA professionals consider their eating habits to be healthy

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68.3% of MENA professionals consider their eating habits to be healthy, according to Bayt.com poll

Most professionals only eat out ‘very rarely’ and enjoy occasional exercise

Dubai, UAE, 11 March 2012 – A recent poll examining the health and eating habits of professionals in the Middle East, conducted by Bayt.com, the region’s number one job site, has revealed that healthy behaviour amongst professionals may be higher than perceived. In fact, only 31.7% of respondents stated that they consider their eating habits to be unhealthy and most respondents claimed to exercise on at least an occasional basis.

Most professionals in the MENA region eat two (41.3%) or three (39.8%) meals a day, and the majority – just over a quarter or those surveyed at 28.2% – consume no coffee on a daily basis. One to two cups of coffee is the most commonly consumed amount (according to 43.6%; 20.9% consume one cup daily, 22.7% two cups), though 4.5% claim to drink more than five cups every day.

“There is a common misconception that the life of a professional is sedentary and unhealthy, however our poll demonstrates that the vast majority of people in the MENA region are aware of what constitutes a healthy lifestyle and claim to adhere to one,” said Suhail Masri, Vice President of Product, Bayt.com. “Bayt.com prides itself on providing invaluable data to employers and employees alike, enriching the lives of our community both inside and outside their careers.”

In terms of eating habits, 50.8% of respondents claim that they eat a moderate amount of carbohydrates every day, while the majority (47.8%) state that they ‘occasionally’ eat meat. In terms of other food groups, 46.3% eat a daily moderate amount of vegetables, 47.2% ‘occasionally’ eat fruit, and 37.1% eat a daily moderate amount of dairy products.

When it comes to eating out, 31.8% say that they do so ‘very rarely’, while at the other end of the scale, 24.6% dine out on a daily basis. Mealtimes are a family affair for a cumulative 84.6% of respondents (36.3% state that every meal is family time; 48.3% claim ‘some meals’ to be). Roughly half of the offices covered in the poll have canteen or cafeteria facilities, with only 45% without.

A small 17.6% of respondents claim to do no exercise, with the rest claiming to exercise frequently (37.6%) or occasionally (44.8%). The most popular location to work out is at home (including within the respondent’s building or compound) according to 30.5%; this is followed by outdoors (28.8%) and at a commercial gym (20.6%).

Walking is by far the most common exercise activity, undertaken by 49%. Running and swimming come a close second and third (8.6% and 8.5%, respectively), followed by a combination of sports.

Data for the Bayt.com “MENA Professionals Health and Eating Habits” poll was collected online from January 30 – February 27 2012, with 13,713 respondents covering more than 12 countries in the MENA region.

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