Screen time and metabolic syndrome among expatriate adolescents in the United Arab Emirates

Moien AB Khan, Syed M. Shah, Abdullah Shehab, S. Ghosal, Shamma J. Muhairi, Rami H. Al-Rifai, Fatima Al Maskari, Juma Alkaabi, Javaid Nauman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Both screen time and metabolic syndrome (MetS) are associated with health outcomes. However, limited data exist on the association between screen time and MetS among expatriate adolescents living in United Arab Emirates (UAE). Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional school-based study on 473 expatriate adolescents (47% girls) aged 12–18 years in Al-Ain district of Abu Dhabi Emirates in the UAE. Data was collected with the expertise of trained nurses & IDF criteria was used to define MetS. Information on screen time (computer, television, and video game use combined) during a regular day was self-reported, and divided into two categories: <2, or ≥2 h per day. Using logistic regression analyses, adjusted odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated for the association between screen time and MetS. Results: A high proportion of adolescents (75.3%) spent ≥2 h daily on screen. The prevalence of MetS was 8.5% in those with <2 h per day of screen time compared with 13.5% in those who reported ≥2 h per day. There was a graded positive association between screen time and MetS (P-trend = 0.01). Each hour increase in screen time was associated with 21% (OR, 1.21; 95% CI, 1.08–1.35) greater likelihood of having MetS. The adjusted OR value associated with ≥2 h of daily screen time was 2.20 (95% CI, 1.04–4.67), compared with adolescents who spent less than 2 h of daily screen time. Conclusion: Higher screen time by expatriate adolescents was associated with increased likelihood of having MetS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2565-2569
Number of pages5
JournalDiabetes and Metabolic Syndrome: Clinical Research and Reviews
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2019


  • Adolescents
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Expatriate
  • Obesity
  • Physical activity
  • Primary care
  • Public health
  • Risk factors
  • Screen time
  • Sedentary behavior
  • UAE
  • Youths

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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