Assessment of dietary practice among diabetic patients in the United Arab Emirates

Juma Al-Kaabi, Fatma Al-Maskari, Hussein Saadi, Bachar Afandi, Hasratali Parkar, Nicolaas Nagelkerke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)


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). METHODS: During 2006, we performed a cross-sectional study of diabetic 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 fasting lipid profile were identified. RESULTS: A sample of 409 diabetic patients 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-115
Number of pages6
JournalReview of Diabetic Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • Compliance
  • Diabetes
  • Diabetes care
  • Diet
  • Glycemic control
  • Obesity
  • UAE

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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