Due to bountiful (but unrenewable) reserves of petroleum and natural gas, many Middle Eastern countries are experiencing newfound economic power and individual wealth. Many of these countries are also entering the ranks of world’s most overweight and obese. Not coincidentally, fast food chain restaurants are rushing to open new franchises to support the emerging culture of ‘demand and immediately receive.’
For my digital-digital mashup, I aggregated data from the World Bank regarding 2013 GDP in the Persian Gulf region, along with stats from the World Health Organization regarding overweightness/obesity in terms of BMI index.
These are my sources:
Next, I used McDonald’s own restaurant locater to map restaurant locations in each country.
A few interesting things I found:
1. Kuwait is the 2nd most overweight nation in the world, second only to the United States. There are 69 McDonalds in the country, which is smaller than New Jersey.
2. Yemen is the poorest country in the region, where almost 70% of adults are considered malnourished. There are no McDonalds in Yemen.
3. The island nation of Bahrain is connected via bridge over the Persian Gulf to Saudi Arabia. There is a McDonalds location in the middle of the bridge. Overall, the country that is 3x the size of Washington DC has 16 total restaurants.
4. Qatar, the world’s richest and second fattest GCC country, has 25 McDonalds in an area smaller than Connecticut.
Here is my map of McArabia.