Saudi Sugar and Endocrinology Society in the Eastern Province has warned that the rising levels of obesity and Type 2 diabetes, which affects a quarter of the population, could threaten the kingdom’s economy. Experts also predict an increase in diabetes in children owing to soaring obesity levels among both minors and adults, said the Arab News report. More than three million people in Saudi Arabia are obese and around 20,000 people die from obesity-related diseases annually, a report said citing studies. “There are 1.7 billion obese people globally,” said society. “Such figures place a heavy financial burden on countries, with rising incidence of noncommunicable diseases such as diabetes, heart problems, brain strokes and all types of cancer.” The society sought steps to curb obesity, including long-lasting lifestyle changes.