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Nutr Hosp. 2009 Jul-Aug;24(4):437-44.

Dietary habits associated with obesity among adolescents in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

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  • 1Department of Preventive Medicine, Ministry of Health, Dubai, UAE.



to study the association between the dietary habits and behavioural factors with the increased risk of obesity amongst adolescents in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).


A cross-sectional study was carried out among 661 adolescents (324 boys and 337 girls) aged 12 to 17 years selected by means of a multistage stratified random sampling technique.


The highest percentage of obesity was observed at 14 years of 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 association 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; CI 0.1-1.0).


Intervention programs focused on promoting changes in lifestyles, food habits and increasing physical activity need to be implemented at the earliest.

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