The World Health Organization (WHO) and International Diabetes Federation (IDF) have projected that the number of diabetes cases will increase to 366 million by 2030, an increase of 214% compared to the year 2006. Diabetes mellitus (DM) is associated with multiple medical complications that decrease the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and contribute to suboptimal physical and mental functioning and earlier mortality. Coronary heart disease, depression, and unhealthy eating habits have significant negative effects on quality of life (QOL) of DM patients.
The IDF reported that five of the top 10 countries with the highest prevalence rates of diabetes in the world are situated within the Gulf region including Saudi Arabia. There has been a changing pattern of lifestyle among the Saudi population towards urbanization and dietary habits. The chronic consumption of high energy, high fat diets, and low levels of physical activity lead to changes in energy balance with conservation of energy stored as fat. Such excess energy consumption per se promotes insulin resistance even before significant weight gain occurs. The WHO projects a 3-fold increase in the number of people with DM from 890,000 in 2000 to 2,523,000 in 2030 in Saudi Arabia.