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Aims To determine a range of anthropometric measurements including
skinfold thickness measurements in four different areas of the body, to
construct population growth charts for body mass index (BMI), skinfolds,
and to compare these with growth charts from other countries. One aim
was also to validate body fat charts derived from skinfold thickness.
Methods A national cross-sec onal growth survey of children, 0-18 years
old, was conducted using multistage stratified random sampling. The
sample size included at least 200 children in each age-sex group. Height,
weight, biceps skinfold, triceps skinfold, subscapular skinfold, suprailiac
skinfold, and mid-upper-arm circumference were measured in each child.
We describe correlation, standard deviation scores relative to the other
standards, and calculation of body density in the United Arab Emirates
population. We determined whether any of the above is a good indicator of
fatness in children. Results BMI, upper-arm circumference, sum of four
skinfolds, and percentage body fat charts were constructed using the LMS
method of smoothing. BMI was very significantly correlated with sum of
skinfold thicknesses, and mid-upper-arm circumference. Prevalence of
obesity and overweight in ages 13-17 years was respec vely 9.94% and
15.16% in females and 6.08% and 14.16% in males. Derived body fat charts
were found not to be accurate Conclusion A national BMI, upper-arm
circumference, and sum of four skinfolds chart has been constructed that
can be used as a reference standard for the United Arab Emirates. Sum of
four skinfold thickness charts can be used as crude determinants of
adiposity in children, but derived body fat charts were shown to be
J Trop Pediatr. 2010 Oct;56(5):325-8. Epub 2009 Dec 23.
Metabolic Syndrome among the Young Obese in The
United Arab Emirates.
Eapen V, Mabrouk A, Yousef S.
Infant, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry,
University of New South Wales, Australia. firstname.lastname@example.org
Obesity is the sixth major risk factor for the overall burden of disease
globally, and is associated with a constellation of metabolic derangements
starting early in life. Features of metabolic syndrome (MS) were assessed
among obese young individuals in the UAE. Of the 260 obese young people
screened, 44% were found to have MS. Prevalence of MS was more among
boys than girls and there was a significant association with a positive family
history of obesity, diabetes or hypertension. Subjective report of
psychological distress was found in 95%, and signiﬁcant depressive
symptoms were present among three-quarters of those with MS. The
prevalence and magnitude of obesity and its sequelae including MS is
increasing worldwide, and newly modernized countries are particularly at
risk. Child health professionals must be aware of this and attempts should
be made for early identification and necessary intervention including
attention to psychological issues.
Asia Pac J Public Health. 2010 Jul;22(3 Suppl):60S-67S.
Body Image, Health, and Modernity: Women's
Perspectives and Experiences in The United Arab
Zayed University, Dubai, UAE. Saraht1@email.arizona.edu
The countries of the Arab Gulf have experienced accelerated development
and urbaniza on over the last 50 years. Changes in health have likewise
been dramatic: Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the UAE now have some
of the highest proportions of obese/overweight people in the world, with
correspondingly high rates of chronic disease. In the UAE, particularly high
rates of obesity/overweight have been reported among middle-aged
Emirati women, but other problems relating to health and nutrition are
starting to be identified in younger age groups as well. This article describes
preliminary data from a project among young Emirati women in the UAE.
This study examines how these women cope with the increased availability
of fast food, changing work patterns, and evolving ideas about body image,
"risk," and health within a larger context of increasing chronic disease and
weight gain throughout the UAE.
Health Soc Care Community. 2010 Mar;18(2):219-28. Epub 2010 Jan 4.
Barriers and Facilitators of Weight Management:
Perspec ves of Arab Women at Risk for Type 2 Diabetes.
Ali HI, Baynouna LM, Bernsen RM.
Department of Nutrition & Health, College of Food and Agriculture, United
Arab Emirates University, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. email@example.com
Obesity and associated chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, are highly
prevalent in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This qualitative study explored
weight management behaviours and perceptions of women who are at
increased risk for type 2 diabetes through focus group interviews. A total of
75 Emira na onal women (age, 20-60 years) considered high risk for type
2 diabetes par cipated in eight focus groups. Purposive sampling was used
to recruit women from primary healthcare centres (PHCs) in Al Ain, UAE.
Qualitative research methodology involving a modified approach to
grounded theory was used to guide data collection and analysis. Focus
group interviews transcripts were thematically analyzed using NVivo
software. A number of personal, social and physical environmental themes
emerged as both barriers and enablers that are consistent with the social
ecological model of health promotion. Low motivation, lack of social
support, competing demands, lack of culturally-sensitive exercise facilities
and sociocultural norms that restrict outdoor physical activities were the
main barriers cited by the participants. On the other hand, social support,
such as having other women to walk with, helped them stay physically
active. Suggestions from the participants included enhancing social support
for women, greater access to dietitians and nutrition information, and
increasing availability of culturally-sensitive exercise facilities. This study
provides valuable information in the development of culturally congruent
healthy weight promo on programmes for women at risk for type 2
diabetes in the UAE and has implications for obesity intervention
programmes for women in other Arabian Gulf countries.
Metab Syndr Relat Disord. 2010 Feb;8(1):39-46.
Metabolic Syndrome Prevalence, Dietary Intake, and
Cardiovascular Risk Profile among Overweight and Obese
Adults 18-50 Years Old from The United Arab Emirates
Al-Sarraj T, Saadi H, Volek JS, Fernandez ML.
Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Connecticut, Storrs,
Connec cut 06269, USA.
BACKGROUND: The prevalence of diabetes mellitus is among the highest
worldwide, and metabolic syndrome predisposes to diabetes.
METHODS: We recruited 227 overweight/obese Emira adults living in the
city of Al-Ain, Emirati of Abu Dhabi to screen for the metabolic syndrome
and to assess for the most relevant criteria for the metabolic syndrome in
this population. We identified subjects as having the metabolic syndrome if
they had three of the following characteristics: Waist circumference (WC)
>88 cm in women and >102 cm in men; plasma glucose >5.5 mmol/L; blood
pressure >130/85 mmHg, triglycerides (TG) >1.7 mmol/L, and high-density
lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) <1.0 mmol/L in men and <1.3 mmol/L in
women. In addition to features of metabolic syndrome, lipoprotein
subfrac ons and 24-hour dietary recalls were assessed in a random sample
syndrome. The most relevant clinical criteria associated with metabolic
syndrome were large WC, high blood pressure, and low HDL-C. Only 7% of
subjects had TG >1.7 mmol/L, whereas 95% had plasma LDL-C >2.6 mmol/L.
In addition, subjects presented low concentrations of medium very-low-
density lipoprotein (VLDL) and small HDL subfractions in agreement with
low concentrations of HDL-C and TG. Dietary analysis revealed high-energy
consumption, with diets high in total carbohydrates, fat, and simple sugars.
In addi on, subjects were sedentary with only 14% of the popula on
engaged in physical activity.
CONCLUSIONS: The high prevalence of metabolic syndrome among
overweight/obese Emirati adults predisposes this population to increased
risk for developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Public health
involvement targeting poor dietary habits and exercise programs among
Emirati citizens is urgently needed.
J Obstet Gynaecol. 2010;30(7):679-86.
Overweight and Obesity in Pregnancy Do Not Adversely
Affect Neonatal Outcomes: New Evidence.
Narchi H, Skinner A.
Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, United
We studied neonatal outcomes of infants of obese mothers in a cohort of
6,125 deliveries, using logis c mul variate analysis to remove the role of
potential confounding variables. Although, as in previous reports, the crude
unadjusted prevalence of several adverse neonatal outcomes was higher in
these infants, the multivariable analysis revealed that only two outcomes
remained significantly associated with maternal overweight and obesity:
neonatal macrosomia (adjusted odds ra os aOR 1.4, p < 0.001) and
meconium aspira on syndrome (aOR 1.6, p = 0.05), indica ng that the
unadjusted association with the other outcomes was caused by
confounding factors. Nonetheless, as macrosomia is associated with
increased health risks both to the mothers and their infants, and maternal
obesity with considerable maternal morbidity during pregnancy, these
results should not lead to complacency, but instead encourage better
prevention of obesity in general and during pregnancy in particular.
Rev Diabet Stud. 2009 Winter;6(4):271-8. Epub 2009 Dec 30.
Physical Activity and Reported Barriers to Activity among
Type 2 Diabe c Pa ents in The United Arab Emirates.
Al-Kaabi J, Al-Maskari F, Saadi H, Afandi B, Parkar H, Nagelkerke N.
Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences,
UAE University, United Arab Emirates.
OBJECTIVES: This study was designed to assess the physical activity practice
among type 2 diabe c pa ents in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
METHODS: This is a cross-sec onal study of type 2 diabe c pa ents who
participated in the outpatient clinics in Al-Ain District, during 2006. The
patients completed an interviewer-administered questionnaire, and
measurements of blood pressure, body mass index, body fat, abdominal
circumference, glycemic control (HbA1c), and fas ng lipid proﬁle.
their physical ac vity levels following the diagnosis of diabetes, and only 3%
reported physical activity levels that meet the recommended guidelines.
More than half of the study subjects had uncontrolled hypertension (53%)
and unacceptable lipid proﬁles; 71% had a high low-density lipoprotein
(LDL), 73% had low high-density lipoprotein (HDL), and 59% had
hypertriglyceridemia. Forty-four percent were obese and a further 34%
were overweight. Abdominal obesity was also common (59%). Only 32%
had an acceptable glycemic control.
the UAE is largely inadequate to meet the recommended level necessary to
prevent or ameliorate diabetic complications. Interventions aiming at
overcoming the barriers to physical activity are urgently needed.
Nutr Hosp. 2009 Jul-Aug;24(4):437-44.
Adolescents in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
bin Zaal AA, Musaiger AO, D'Souza R.
Department of Preventive Medicine, Ministry of Health, Dubai, UAE.
factors with the increased risk of obesity amongst adolescents in Dubai,
United Arab Emirates (UAE).
(324 boys and 337 girls) aged 12 to 17 years selected by means of a
multistage stratified random sampling technique.
age in boys (30.5%) and at 13 years of age in girls (35.4%). There was a
significant association between the frequency of eating breakfast (P
=0.048), snacking between breakfast and lunch (P = 0.044), and obesity in
girls but not in boys. A high risk of obesity was associated with eating
breakfast at school in both boys (OR = 3.0; CI 1.1-8.3) and girls (OR = 3.4; CI
1.6-7.4). Fast foods showed a signiﬁcant associa on with obesity in girls (P =
0.007), but not in boys (P = 0.745). The risk of obesity was higher in boys
who ate fast foods at home (OR = 1.3; CI 0.5-3.2) but less in girls (OR = 0.2;
CONCLUSION: Intervention programs focused on promoting changes in
lifestyles, food habits and increasing physical activity need to be
implemented at the earliest.
J Diabetes Sci Technol. 2011 Jul 1;5(4):1005-8.
Nanotechnology in Elevation of the Worldwide Impact of
Obesity and Obesity-Related Diseases: Potential Roles in
Human Health and Disease.
Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Current worldwide data show epidemics of obesity and type 2 diabetes
with no real solutions apart from continuous calls to changing lifestyle and
food habits. Despite health messages that are communicated by health
authorities, the epidemic is growing. More people are affected with health
consequences that are usually frightening as more resources are wasted,
especially in areas where health care and resources are lacking.
Nanotechnology applications in food industry present practical approaches
that help produce more tasty food with little calories, functional foods, and
nutritional supplements and alter the fats and sugar contents of our foods
with potential for many more applications. Consequently, this opens more
windows to better control of many nutritional deficiencies as well as
obesity and type 2 diabetes, especially among children and young adults
who are addicted to fast food. With such potential, food producers, policy
makers, health authorities, food scientists, and governments need to
collaborate and make all possible efforts to fund and support research in
different areas of food produced using nanotechnology. So far, consumers
are not prepared to accept food produced using nanotechnology, mainly
because information on the safety of such products are not enough. This
issue needs to be addressed and researched well using suitable risk
assessment methodologies. Consumers need to be assured, and involved as
well, to avoid the "refusal state" that still exists against many safe products
such as genetically modified organisms and irradiated food. There is the
possibility that consumers could perceive that they will bear the potential
risks posed by nanotechnology applications while the benefits will accrue
mainly to others, such as food processors or farmers.
Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2009;60 Suppl 3:26-33. Epub 2008 Oct 22.
Prevalence of Overweight and Obesity among Adult
Females in The United Arab Emirates.
Sheikh-Ismail LI, Henry CJ, Lightowler HJ, Aldhaheri AS, Masuadi E, Al
International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna, Austria.
The purpose of this present study was to investigate the prevalence of
overweight and obesity in adult females in the United Arab Emirates. A
total number of 724 females, age 20-90 years, were recruited from the
seven Emirates. The sample was divided into three age groups, 20 to <30
years, 30 to <60 years and >60 years. Height, weight and mid-upper-arm
circumference were measured in each subject. Overweight and obesity
were deﬁned as a body mass index of 25.0-29.9 kg/m2 and >30 kg/m2,
respec vely. The prevalence of overweight and obesity were 27% and 16%,
respec vely. The age group between 30 and <60 years had the highest
prevalence of overweight (33%) and obesity (24%). In conclusion, the
findings from our study suggest that a high proportion of adult females in
the United Arab Emirates are overweight and obese. The consequences of
this are a serious concern for public health and need to be addressed.
Metab Syndr Relat Disord. 2009 Feb;7(1):17-22.
Analysis of the Relationship of Leptin, High-Sensitivity C-
Reactive Protein, Adiponectin, Insulin, and Uric Acid to
Metabolic Syndrome in Lean, Overweight, and Obese
Abdullah AR, Hasan HA, Raigangar VL.
College of Health Sciences, University of Sharjah, Sharjah, United Arab
OBJECTIVE: Over the last decade there has been a steady rise in obesity and
co-morbidity, but little is known about the rate of metabolic dysfunction
among young adults in the United Arab Emirates. Various factors have been
implicated as biomarkers of metabolic syndrome. The objective of this
study was to analyze the relationships of leptin, C-reactive protein (CRP),
adiponectin, insulin, and uric acid to the metabolic syndrome components
in lean, overweight, and obese young females.
females, who were classified according to their body mass index (BMI)
(kg/m(2)) into three groups: lean (
obese (>or=30). Es mated biomarkers were: lep n, insulin, adiponec n,
high-sensitivity [hs]-CRP, uric acid, blood sugar, high-density lipoprotein
(HDL), low-density lipoprotein (LDL), total cholesterol, and triglycerides
(TG). Anthropometric measures, blood pressure, and homeostasis model
assessment-insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) were also measured.
RESULTS: Serum leptin, hs-CRP, insulin, and uric acid increased significantly
(p < 0.01) with increased BMI. Only one signiﬁcant correla on (p < 0.05)
between the biomarkers and the metabolic syndrome components was
found in lean subjects (leptin vs. waist circumference r = 0.48) as opposed
to six in the obese group (hs-CRP vs. waist circumference and systolic blood
pressure [SBP], r = 0.45 and r = -0.41, respec vely; insulin vs. diastolic blood
pressure [DBP], r = 0.47; adiponec n vs. blood sugar, r = -0.44; and uric acid
vs. waist circumference and TG, r = 0.5 and r = 0.51, respec vely).
CONCLUSION: Estimation of the levels of studied biomarkers could be an
important tool for early detection of metabolic syndrome before the
appearance of its frank components. Uric acid seems to be the most
reliable biomarker to identify obese subjects with metabolic syndrome.
Int Q Community Health Educ. 2008-2009;29(2):143-59.
Barriers to Weight Management among Emirati Women:
A Qualitative Investigation of Health Professionals'
Ali HI, Bernsen RM, Baynouna LM.
College of Food and Agriculture, United Arab Emirates University, Al Ain,
Obesity and associated chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes are highly
prevalent in the United Arab Emirates. This qualitative study explored
weight management barriers for Emirati women and strategies that can
facilitate their weight management efforts. In-depth individual interviews
were conducted with a purposive sample of 29 primary health care
physicians, dietitians, and nurses in Al Ain and Abu Dhabi medical districts.
A modified grounded theory was used to guide data collection and analysis.
Interview notes were analyzed thematically and inductively using the NVivo
software. The three main emerging themes were barriers, motivators, and
suggestions. A number of personal, health care system-related, social and
physical barriers to weight management were identified. Participants'
suggestions to facilitate weight management for Emirati women included:
health awareness programs, policies that support lifestyle changes, and
provision of the necessary resources. They recommended peer support and
culturally-acceptable programs that provide a holistic approach to obesity
prevention and management. This study has useful applications in the
development of community-based interventions for the prevention and
management of overweight and obesity among women in the United Arab
J Crit Care. 2008 Sep;23(3):434-40.
Health Effects of Soda Drinking in Adolescent Girls in The
United Arab Emirates.
Mahmood M, Saleh A, Al-Alawi F, Ahmed F.
First year medical students, Dubai Medical College for Girls, Dubai, UAE.
communities about the harmful effects associated with carbonated soft
drinks. In several observational studies, intake of carbonated beverages was
associated with reduced bone mass, decreased calcium level in the blood,
and increased fracture risk. Soda drinks is a contributing factor in the
prevalence and incidence of both dental caries and obesity especially
among adolescents and young adults so they are more likely to be
diagnosed as diabetic.
OBJECTIVES: This study aims at studying the prevalence of soda drinking
among adolescent girls and discovering its health effects.
SUBJECTS AND METHODS: A cross-sectional study was designed, and a
multistage random sample was performed in schools and colleges in Dubai.
A total of 275 students were selected. A self-administrative questionnaire
was distributed and blood, and urine samples were collected.
Anthropometric measures and laboratory investigations (lipid profile, renal
function, and blood and urine electrolytes) were done.
RESULTS: Age range was 10 to 22 years, with mean of 16.2 years.
Prevalence of soda drinking was 81.8%. About half of the ever-drinkers
(47.5%) have tried to quit drinking. There was no signiﬁcant diﬀerence in
body mass index between drinkers and nondrinkers (chi(2) = 2.1, P > .05).
The concentration of blood sodium was less in drinkers, whereas the
concentrations of urea and creatinine were not affected by drinking. There
was no significant difference in blood calcium between drinkers and non
drinkers (P > .05). Drinkers were associated with higher risk of increased
calcium and phosphorus excre on in urine (odds ra o, 1.1; 95% conﬁdence
CONCLUSION: Soda drinking was associated with higher risk of obesity and
decreasing level of blood calcium and increasing urinary calcium excretion,
which may lead to osteoporosis later in life. Soda drinking did not have any
effect on renal function tests in our study group.
Rev Diabet Stud. 2008 Summer;5(2):110-5. Epub 2008 Aug 10.
Assessment of Dietary Practice among Diabetic Patients in
The United Arab Emirates.
Al-Kaabi J, Al-Maskari F, Saadi H, Afandi B, Parkar H, Nagelkerke N.
Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences,
UAE University, Al-Ain, United Arab Emirates.
OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to assess dietary practices and risk
profile (hypertension, obesity, lipid profile and glycemic control) among
people with diabetes in Al-Ain District, United Arab Emirates (UAE).
patients attending diabetic outpatient clinics at Tawam Hospital and
primary health care centers in Al-Ain District. Subjects completed an
interviewer-administered questionnaire, blood pressure, body mass index,
percentage body fat and abdominal circumference were measured and
recorded and the most recent HbA1c levels and fas ng lipid proﬁle were
RESULTS: A sample of 409 diabe c pa ents was recruited, 50% of whom
were illiterate. Only 24% read food labeling. 76% reported being unable to
distinguish clearly between low and high carbohydrate index food items
and no one reported counting calorie intake. 46% reported that they had
never been seen by dietician since their diagnosis. Their overall risk profile,
notably body weight, lipid profile and blood pressure, was very
unfavorable; more than half of the study sample had uncontrolled
hypertension and uncontrolled lipid profile and the majority was
overweight (36%) or obese (45%). Abdominal obesity was particularly
common (59%). Only 31% had an HbA1c of less than 7%.
CONCLUSIONS: The dietary practices of diabetic patients in the UAE are
inadequate and need improvement.
Obes Rev. 2007 Jan;8(1):15-20.
Prevalence of Overweight and Obesity among Children in
The United Arab Emirates.
Malik M, Bakir A.
Department of Clinical Biochemistry & Metabolism, Royal Victoria
Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. firstname.lastname@example.org
The aim of the study was to determine the prevalence of overweight and
obesity in children in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Secondary analysis
was undertaken of data on 4381 children aged 5-17 years from the 1999
UAE-National Iodine Deficiency Surveillance Study. Data on weight and
height from that study were used to calculate body mass index. The
prevalence of overweight and obesity was estimated using International
Obesity Task Force criteria. Overall, 944 (21.5%) of children were
overweight and 601 (13.7%) of these were obese. More girls than boys
were overweight (22.9% vs. 20.2%; P < or = 0.001). Non-citizen girls were
more likely to be obese (odds ra os [OR] 1.767, 95% conﬁdence intervals
[CI] 1.48-2.102) than UAE girls. Boys in the rural areas had the lowest
prevalence (23.6%) and were the least likely of all the children to be either
overweight (OR 0.785, 95% CI 0.629-0.974) or obese 0.732 (95% CI 0.591-
0.912). This study demonstrates a high prevalence of overweight in children
in the UAE. Prompt actions are needed to initiate preventative and
interventionist strategies to reverse the trend of this emerging epidemic.
Ann Hum Biol. 2005 Jan-Feb;32(1):72-9.
Schoolchildren: A National Study.
Al-Haddad FH, Little BB, Abdul Ghafoor AG.
Cardiology Department Saif Bin Ghubash Hospital Ras Al-Khaimah United
Arab Emirates. email@example.com
OBJECTIVE: The study assessed the national prevalence of obesity among
schoolchildren in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
SUBJECTS: A stra ﬁed 10% random sample of 16,391 children was drawn
from 145,492 pupils in the UAE.
METHODS: Height and weight were measured by physicians and trained
nurses, and the body mass index (BMI; weight (kg)/height (m)2) was
computed. BMIs for UAE were compared to recently published
RESULTS: Comparison of BMIs to international reference data revealed that
UAE children are at increased risk for overweight (>25 kg m-2 and =30 kg m-
2) and obesity (=30 kg m-2). For example, 10-year-old male UAE children
had 1.7 mes the rate of overweight compared to interna onal standards
and 1.9 mes at 18 years. Similarly, female UAE children have 1.8 mes the
rate of overweight compared to interna onal standards at 10 and 18 years
of age. Obesity was 2.3-fold higher among UAE males at 14 years compared
to interna onal standards, and increased to 3.6 mes at 18 years of age.
Among UAE female children, obesity was same as males at 14 years, 2.3
mes than the interna onal standards. At 18 years of age, UAE female
obesity was 1.9-fold higher than the international standard, nearly one-half
the rate of obesity among UAE males at the same age.
CONCLUSION: The frequency of obesity among UAE youth is two to three
times greater than the recently published international standard. Profound
public health implications of childhood obesity for UAE children and young
adults are seriously increased because of adult chronic disease processes
(e.g. cardiovascular disease, diabetes) normally attendant to increased
Am J Hum Biol. 2004 May-Jun;16(3):346-53.
Physical Activity and Levels of Inactivity in Adolescent
Females Ages 11-16 Years in The United Arab Emirates.
Henry CJ, Lightowler HJ, Al-Hourani HM.
Nutrition and Food Science Group, School of Biological and Molecular
Sciences, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford OX3 0BP, United Kingdom.
The purpose of this study was to investigate patterns of physical activity
and levels of inactivity in adolescent females in the United Arab Emirates
(UAE). A total of 58 adolescent females, age 11-16 years, were recruited
from two female-only governmental schools in Abu-Dhabi. Subjects were
divided into two groups: 11-13 years (n = 22) and 14-16 years (n = 36).
Physical activity pa erns were determined from a 3-day activity diary. Total
energy expenditure (TEE) was estimated using a factorial approach. The
amount of physical activity was expressed as the physical activity level (PAL)
and the activity-related energy expenditure (AEE). The number of hours
spent watching television was estimated from the activity diaries. There
were no significant differences in the energy expenditure parameters
between age groups or between schooldays and weekends. PAL was low in
both age groups. Television was the predominant leisure time pursuit. The
number of hours per day spent watching television (median and
interquar le range) was 2.5 (2.3-3.1) in 11-13 years and 2.5 (2.3-2.8) in 14-
16 years. Television-watching was significantly higher during the weekend
than schooldays: 11-13 years (P = 0.006) and 14-16 years (P < 0.001). In
conclusion, the amount of physical activity undertaken by adolescent
females in the UAE was very low. Cultural and weather restrictions and
social change of the community in the UAE are not conducive to physical
activity and play a major role in levels of physical inactivity. This may
explain, in part, the rise in the incidence of obesity in this population.
J Health Popul Nutr. 2004 Mar;22(1):75-83.
Assessment of Obesity, Lifestyle, and Reproductive Health
Needs of Female Citizens of Al Ain, United Arab Emirates.
Carter AO, Saadi HF, Reed RL, Dunn EV.
School of Clinical Medicine and Research, University of the West Indies,
Cave Hill, Barbados. firstname.lastname@example.org
This study was conducted to determine the reproductive and lifestyle
characteris cs in a representa ve sample (n = 535) of women in Al Ain,
United Arab Emirates, to guide the development of health programmes for
this population with rising affluence. A cross-sectional survey was carried
out using the stratified two-stage sampling technique. Although most
women were young, were pre-menopausal, did not smoke, reported good
health status, and 84% (95% conﬁdence interval [CI] 81-87%) reported
being sufficiently active to meet expert recommendations, the prevalence
of obesity (deﬁned by body mass index > or = 30) was very high (35%; 95%
CI 31-39%) and many (28%; 95% CI 24-32%) reported having a chronic
disease. The prevalence of obesity was associated positively with age and
nega vely with educa on (p < 0.001 for both). Postmenopausal women had
significantly more chronic diseases, reported poor health more often, were
less physically ac ve (p < 0.001 for all), and had a higher percentage of body
fat (p = 0.002) compared to premenopausal women. Health services should
emphasize the prevention and treatment of obesity and improving the
general health status of postmenopausal women.
Am J Hum Biol. 2003 Nov-Dec;15(6):758-64.
Prevalence of Overweight among Adolescent Females in
The United Arab Emirates.
Al-Hourani HM, Henry CJ, Lightowler HJ.
Department of Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics, Faculty of Allied Health
Sciences, The Hashemite University, Zarqa 13115, Jordan.
The purpose of the study was to investigate the prevalence of overweight in
adolescent females in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). A total of 898
females, ages 11-18 years, were recruited from ﬁve of the seven Emirates
with the highest resident Emirati population. Height, weight, triceps
skinfold thickness (TSF), and mid-upper-arm circumference were measured
in each subject. Reference data from the National Health and Nutrition
Examination Surveys (NHANES) were used for comparison. At risk for
overweight or overweight were defined as a body mass index (BMI,
kg/m(2)) >or=85-95th percen le and >or=95th percen le, respec vely.
Mean values for BMI and TSF at all ages were higher than the 50th
percentile (median) of the NHANES reference data. Using the BMI
classiﬁca on, 14% and 9% of all subjects were classiﬁed as at risk for
overweight or overweight, respectively. The proportion of subjects at risk
for overweight ranged between 7-19% and the prevalence of overweight
ranged between 6-15%. The propor on of subjects with a BMI >or=85
percen le ranged from 15% at age 17 years to 33% at age 11 years.
Furthermore, 27% and 28% of subjects ages 11 and 12 years, respec vely,
were above the TSF 90th percen le. These two age groups also showed a
high prevalence of overweight using the BMI classification. In conclusion,
the findings from our study suggest that a high proportion of adolescent
females in the UAE are overweight or at risk for overweight. The
consequences of this are a serious concern for public health and need to be
Coll Antropol. 2003 Jun;27(1):95-104.
Obesity and Low Back Pain.
Bener A, Alwash R, Gaber T, Lovasz G.
Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, UAE University,
Obesity and low back pain (LBP) are common health problems among
patients attending Primary Health Care (PHC) in general practice at the
United Arab Emirates (UAE). The objective of this study was to determine
whether obesity is associated with low back pain. A cross-sectional face-to-
face interview questionnaire survey was conducted. The questionnaire was
a modified version of the Roland-Morris Scale for evaluating back disability.
The interviews were conducted in Arabic by qualified nurses. A multi-stage
stratified sample 1,103 UAE na onal aged 25-65 years, who a ended PHC
clinics for any reason, were invited to par cipate but only 802 subjects
were eligible to be included for the statistical analysis. The data were
analyzed using univariate and multivariate sta s cal methods. Of the 802
subjects, 428 (53.4%) were males and 374 (46.6%) were females. The mean
age of the males was 40.5 +/- 11.5 years and females was 38.2 +/- 10.5
years (p = 0.004). The mean BMI of the males was 26.4 +/- 7.4 and females
was 27.8 +/- 5.6 (p = 0.002). The overall prevalence of LBP in the present
study was 64.9% (95% conﬁdence interval, 61.0-68.8) and respec vely,
56.1% in males and 73.8% in females. The results revealed that there was
association between BMI and some socio-demographic variables with the
respect of with low back pain. Back pain had more influence on the life style
habits on females than in males. Stepwise multiple regression analysis
showed that only age (p < 0.0001), educa onal level (p = 0.001), gender (p =
0.002), place of living (p = 0.019), BMI (p < 0.0001), and housing condi on
(p = 0.02) had signiﬁcant eﬀect on the presence of LBP in pa ents. The
present study showed that obesity is moderately associated with low back
Nutri on & Food Science,2003; 33(4):145 – 147
Lifestyle Factors Associated with Obesity among Male
University Students in The United Arab Emirates
Author(s): A.O. Musaiger, (A.O. Musaiger is Director of the Environmental
and Biological Programme, Bahrain Center for Studies and Research,
Manama, Bahrain.), O.L. Lloyd, (O.L. Lloyd is Professor of Community
Health, in the Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine &
Health Sciences, UAE University, Al-Ain, United Arab Emirates.), S.M. Al-
Neyadi, (S.M. Al-Neyadi is a General Practitioner, in the Department of
Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences, UAE
University, Al-Ain, United Arab Emirates.), A.B. Bener, (A.B. Bener is
Professor of Biostatistics in the Department of Community Medicine,
Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences, UAE University, Al-Ain, United Arab
Citation: A.O. Musaiger, O.L. Lloyd, S.M. Al-Neyadi, A.B. Bener, (2003)
"Lifestyle factors associated with obesity among male university students in
the United Arab Emirates", Nutri on & Food Science, Vol. 33 Iss: 4, pp.145 –
A cross-sec onal survey of 300 male university students (18-25 years) in the
United Arab Emirates was carried out to study the relationship between
obesity and some lifestyle factors. Obesity was determined using body mass
index (weight/height2), with cut-oﬀ of <25 and =25, to represent non-obese
and obese students, respectively. The overall prevalence of obesity was
35.7 per cent, which was higher than their counterpart female students.
The risk of obesity was found to be greater among those who had a family
history of obesity (rela ve risk, RR=1.88), watched television for more than
four hours a day (RR=1.31), were smokers (RR=1.35), were not prac sing
sport (RR=1.77) and had a car (RR=1.23). However, only family history of
obesity was found to be statistically significant. The study suggests that
social and lifestyle factors are important factors for the occurrence of
obesity among male university students.
Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2001 May;73(2):101-7.
Pregnancy Outcome in Women with Morbid Obesity.
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Al-Mafraq Hospital, Abu Dhabi,
United Arab Emirates. email@example.com
OBJECTIVE: To study the effects of morbid obesity defined as a first
trimester maternal body mass index of >40 on the perinatal outcome.
METHODS: One hundred and eighty-eight singleton pregnancies of women
with ﬁrst trimester BMI >40 who delivered at Al-Mafraq Hospital, Abu
Dhabi during 1996-1998 were studied. A control group of normal body mass
index matched for age and parity were selected and the perinatal variables
were compared between groups. Morbidly obese women with diabetes and
hypertension antedating the index pregnancy were later excluded and the
data were re-analyzed.
perinatal outcomes including hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (28.8 vs.
2.9%, P<0.0001), gesta onal diabetes (24.5 vs. 2.2%, P<0.0001), cesarean
sec on (15.2 vs. 9.3%, P<0.05) and macrosomia (32.6 vs. 9.3%, P<0.001)
compared to non-obese women. However, we noted a significantly lower
rate of prematurity in the obese group (0.5 vs. 5.3%, P<0.001). Even when
morbidly obese women with (a) diabetes and hypertension antedating the
index pregnancy and (b) those who developed gestational diabetes and/or
pregnancy-induced hypertension during the index pregnancy were
excluded from the analysis, significant differences in the perinatal
outcomes still persisted.
adverse perinatal outcome.
Am J Hum Biol. 2000 Jul;12(4):498-502.
Prevalence of Obesity among School Children in The
United Arab Emirates.
Al-Haddad F, Al-Nuaimi Y, Little BB, Thabit M.
Saif Bin Ghubash Hospital, Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates.
The objective of this study was to investigate the prevalence of obesity
among schoolchildren in the United Arab Emirates, using the body mass
index (BMI) as the indicator. The sample included 1,787 males and 2,288
females 6-16 years. Physicians and trained nurses measured height and
weight, and the BMI (kg/m(2)) was calculated. The 50(th) cen le of the BMI
was not different from that for the US. Similarly, the height and weight of
UAE children approximate the US reference data. About 8% of UAE boys
and girls have BMI's >/=95(th) percen le of US reference values. Using the
85(th) percen le as the criterion, 16.5% and 16.9% of males and females,
respectively, are classified as overweight. This composite figure does not
diﬀer from the expected 15% based on reference data. The data thus
indicate that high levels of obesity are present among UAE children and
adolescents. These findings have public health implications for this
generation of UAE youth during their adult years, including heart disease
and diabetes, because the rate of morbid obesity is approximately twice
that expected in reference data. Am. J. Hum. Biol. 12:498-502, 2000.
East Mediterr Health J. 2008 Jan-Feb;14(1):42-56.
Prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes and Other Cardiovascular
Risk Factors in A Semirural Area in Yemen.
Gunaid AA, Assabri AM.
The study determined the prevalence of type 2 diabetes, abnormal glucose
tolerance and other cardiovascular risk factors in a sample of 250 adults
aged > or = 35 years in a semirural area near Sana'a, the capital of Yemen,.
The overall crude prevalence of diabetes was 10.4% (95% CI: 6.6%-14.2%)
and the age-standardized rate was 6.3% (95% CI: 5.4%-7.2%). The age-
standardized rate of having either impaired fasting glucose or impaired
glucose tolerance was 9.0% (95% CI: 6.0%-12.0%) and the age-standardized
prevalence of hypertension was 14.2% (95% CI: 13.0%-16.0%). Age and
waist circumference were independently related to total glucose
intolerance. The observed high frequency of central obesity suggests a
dietary origin for these adverse health conditions.
Ann Nutr Metab. 2005 Sep-Oct;49(5):342-5. Epub 2005 Aug 22.
Overweight and Obesity among Schoolchildren in Sana'a
Raja'a YA, Bin Mohanna MA.
AIM: To estimate the prevalence of overweight and obesity among
schoolchildren in Sana'a City (Yemen) and to examine the association with
lifestyle and some socioeconomic factors.
Sana'a City during 2002-2003. We selected 1,253 students by the mul stage
random sampling technique. Weights and heights were measured to
calculate body mass index (BMI = weight/height2). Data about age, sex,
education level of the parents, food consumption and lifestyle was also
RESULTS: The mean age of the children was 12.6 +/- 2 years. Overweight
was 6.2% and obesity was 1.8%. The prevalence of overweight and obesity
was higher among private schoolchildren (p<000), females (p = 0.002),
children with a sedentary lifestyle (p = 0.001) and children with a family
history of obesity (p = 0.013). Also there is a posi ve associa on of
overweight/obesity with the educa on level of the parents (p = 0.013 for
the father and p = 0.19 for the mother) and consump on of unhealthy
CONCLUSION: Prevalence of overweight and obesity is low and positively
associated with the education level of the father, private schooling,
sedentary lifestyle, and with students who took unhealthy meals.
Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2004 Sep;65(3):275-81.
Type II Diabetes Mellitus and Impaired Glucose Tolerance
in Yemen: Prevalence Associated Metabolic Changes and
Al-Habori M, Al-Mamari M, Al-Meeri A.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the prevalence of type II Diabetes Mellitus (DM)
and impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) and identify the metabolic
abnormalities and risk factors associated with these conditions in an urban
city of Yemen.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: Cross-sectional, population-based
study inves ga ng 498 adults (245 males and 253 females) aged 25-65
years. The 1999 modiﬁed World Health Organiza on criteria were adopted
for the diagnosis of Diabetes Mellitus and IGT. A standard questionnaire
was applied and blood lipids, blood pressure, body mass index (BMI) and
waist/hip ratio (WHR) were determined.
RESULTS: The overall prevalence of type II Diabetes Mellitus was 4.6%
(7.4% in males and 2% in females). Impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) and
impaired fas ng glucose (IFG) were found in 2% and 2.2% of the study
population. Factors independently related to any abnormality in glucose
tolerance, using logistic regression analysis, were sex, hyperlipidaemia,
hypertriglyceridaemia, and hypertension; whereas sex and age related to
DM. More than 80% of the type II diabe cs were over the age of 40, 35%
being hyperlipidaemic, 22% being hypertensive and 18% obese. Sixty
percent of IGT subjects were hyperlipidaemic and 20% were obese.
Approximately 78% of obese individuals (>/=30 kg/m(2)) had normal
CONCLUSION: The prevalence of type II DM and its potential increase
reflected by the high prevalence of obesity in normal glucose tolerance
subjects in the Yemeni population constitutes a major public health
J R Soc Med Sh Rep July 2011 vol. 2 no. 7 55
Prevalences of Overweight, Obesity, Hyperglycaemia,
Hypertension and Dyslipidaemia in the Gulf: Systematic
Layla Alhyas1⇓, Ailsa McKay1, Anjali Balasanthiran2, Azeem Majeed1
1Department of Primary Care & Public Health, Imperial College London,
2Department of Medicine, Imperial College London, London, UK
Correspondence to: Layla Alhyas. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
OBJECTIVES: To examine the prevalence of risk factors for diabetes and its
complications in the Co-operation Council of the Arab States of the Gulf
(United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait).
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