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The rising rate of obesity in Lebanon, as in many parts of the world, is worrying some of the foremost experts in the field, who gathered at the Symposium on Preventing Obesity in the MENA Region Wednesday evening at The American University of Beirut.Obesity is linked to several major health problems, such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer.Nasreddine said this rise has been caused by the fact that Lebanon is in the middle of what experts call a "nutrition transition".This evolution, the experts say, is especially visible in the younger generation.Bardus said this was the exact opposite of what a city should be and highlighted that Lebanese municipalities should encourage activity through "engaging environmental changes," such as having healthy choices first in school cafeterias or having more walkable streets.Most of the speakers highlighted the positive effect of physical activity and the need for having public spaces to be active in, but none more so than Jawad Sbeity, founder of Beirut by Bike.Sbeity helped lobby for the 100 meters of bicycle lane through Downtown Beirut, which is often mocked, he said.Sbeity pointed to U.N. initiatives calling for government action to promote more active lifestyles – such as the Global Move for Health Day started in 2003 .
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