Nutrition Situation Analysis in the UAE: A Review Study

Haleama Al Sabbah, Enas A. Assaf, Ayoub Al-Jawaldeh, Afra Salah AlSammach, Haifa Madi, Nouf Khamis Al Ali, Ayesha S. Al Dhaheri, Leila Cheikh Ismail

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


This review study aimed to assess the nutrition situation in the UAE using published data from 2010 to 2022. It highlights the gaps and challenges that prevail in addressing the nutrition-related problems in the UAE and the opportunities that have been overlooked. The available literature indicates that the UAE is burdened with more than one form of nutrition-related problems, including being underweight, being overweight, obesity, micronutrient deficiencies, and nutrition-related chronic diseases. It is clear that data on micronutrient deficiencies, protein-energy malnutrition, obesity, diabetes, and other nutrition-related diseases among the UAE population are extremely scarce. The UAE has a high prevalence of obesity and diabetes; however, limited studies have been conducted to document this nutritional phenomenon. Few examples of published data are available assessing the burden of stunting, wasting, and being underweight among children under five years of age. Despite the importance of protein-energy malnutrition, no recent publications analyze its prevalence within the UAE population. Therefore, future studies must be conducted, focusing on malnutrition. Based on the literature, and bearing in mind the magnitude of the health issues due to the UAE population’s nutrition negligence, there is an urgent need to assess the population’s nutrient behaviors, to aid policy decision-makers in developing and implementing effective health policies and strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number363
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023


  • UAE
  • anemia
  • exclusive breastfeeding
  • food consumption pattern
  • malnutrition
  • nutritional status
  • obesity
  • overweight
  • stunting
  • wasting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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