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Public Health Nutr. 2013 Apr;16(4):596-607. doi: 10.1017/S1368980012003941. Epub 2012 Sep 14.

Evidence for nutrition transition in Kuwait: over-consumption of macronutrients and obesity.

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  • 1National Nutrition Institute, Cairo, Egypt.



To describe nutrient intakes and prevalence of overweight and obesity in a nationally representative sample of Kuwaitis and to compare intakes with reference values.


Cross-sectional, multistage stratified, cluster sample. Settings National nutrition survey covering all geographical areas of the country.


Kuwaitis (n 1704) between 3 and 86 years of age.


Obesity was more prevalent among women than men (50 % and 70 % for females aged 19-50 years and ≥51 years, respectively, v. 29 % and 42 % for their male counterparts). Boys were more obese than girls, with the highest obesity rate among those aged 9-13 years (37 % and 24 % of males and females, respectively). Energy intake was higher than the estimated energy requirements for almost half of Kuwaiti children and one-third of adults. The Estimated Average Requirement was exceeded by 78-100 % of the recommendation for protein and carbohydrates. More than two-thirds of males aged ≥4 years exceeded the Tolerable Upper Intake Level for Na. Conversely, less than 20 % of Kuwaitis, regardless of age, consumed 100 % or more of the Estimated Average Requirement for vitamin D, vitamin E, Ca, n-3 and n-6 fatty acids. Less than 20 % of children met the recommended level for fibre.


Nutrition transition among Kuwaitis was demonstrated by the increased prevalence of obesity and overweight, increased intakes of energy and macronutrients and decreased intakes of fibre and micronutrients. Interventions to increase awareness about healthy foods combined with modifications in subsidy policies are clearly warranted to increase consumption of low-energy, nutrient-dense foods.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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