Total Usual Nutrient Intakes and Nutritional Status of United Arab Emirates Children (4 Years–12.9 Years): Findings from the Kids Nutrition and Health Survey (KNHS) 2021

Nahla Hwalla, Lara Chehade, Lynda M. O’Neill, Samer Kharroubi, Amira Kassis, Leila Cheikh Ismail, Ayesha S. Al Dhaheri, Habiba I. Ali, Sarah Ibrahim, Fatima Al Zahraa Chokor, Maysm N. Mohamad, Wafaa Ayesh, Lara Nasreddine, Farah Naja

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

This study aims at investigating the anthropometric status and food consumption patterns of children in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and assessing their adherence to nutrient and dietary recommendations. It is a population-based cross-sectional survey of 690 children (4–12.9 years), from 3 major Emirates. Socio-demographic and anthropometric characteristics were collected. Dietary intakes were assessed using the 24-hour recall approach. Of the total sample, 4% were stunted, 8% were wasted and 28% were overweight/obese. A third of participating children consumed above the Estimated Energy Requirement, while the majority’s intakes carbohydrate, total fat, and protein were within the recommendations; whereas over 70% and 90% of participants consumed above the WHO daily limits of free sugars and saturated fats, respectively. Inadequate intakes of linoleic acid (36% of children), alpha-linolenic acid (91%) and dietary fiber (100%) were observed. All children failed to meet the recommendation for vitamin D and considerable proportions had inadequate intakes of vitamin A, calcium, zinc, folate, and magnesium. Compared with the American Heart Association/American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations, low dietary adherence was noted for fruits (9%), vegetables (4%), and milk/dairy (14%). These findings may be used in the development of nutritional policies aimed at improving the diets of children in the UAE.

Original languageEnglish
Article number234
JournalNutrients
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023

Keywords

  • United Arab Emirates
  • children and adolescents
  • dietary adherence
  • food consumption patterns
  • food intake
  • malnutrition
  • obesity
  • overweight

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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