Fans of Bollywood packed into Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF)'s Intellectual Hall to see actress Shilpa Shetty discuss her new diet and nutrition book, "The Great Indian Diet" which she formally launched for the UAE market at the event.
The star was a special guest at the 35th anniversary edition of the fair, which concludes on Saturday at Expo Centre Sharjah.
"It's a huge privilege to be a guest here at SIBF and to be in front of all you wonderful people. The UAE has always opened its arms to me and shown me so much love," said Shetty.
Discussing her book that she describes as "busting the big fat diet myth", Shetty said that it was co-authored by Luke Coutinho, a holistic nutritionist and exercise physiologist who works with cancer patients to ensure that they eat well.
"Lots of people seem to be developing cancer these days which was never the case years ago. I personally know quite a few people with the disease, my friend, my sister-in-law and my mother's friend. If you were to go back 70 years, you would never see this level of lifestyle diseases, including diabetes and obesity. "We may not have all had A/Cs then or cars, but we were certainly much healthier. This is the reason why I launched my book. I wanted to make sure that people stay healthy. After all, health is wealth," she said.
Shetty said she decided to launch her book in the UAE as she could see parallels with Arabic and Asian cuisine, with similarities in the way that food is prepared.
She said she wanted to show people in the UAE that there were no excuses not to eat healthily.
"I hear lots of reasons why people claim that they can't eat healthily. Women say they are too busy with their children while men say they have too much work to do. I wanted to show that this needn't be the case by showing healthy meals that were realistic and practical to do," she said.