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Rev Diabet Stud. 2008 Summer;5(2):110-5. doi: 10.1900/RDS.2008.5.110. Epub 2008 Aug 10.

Assessment of dietary practice among diabetic patients in the United arab emirates.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, UAE University, Al-Ain, United Arab Emirates.



The aim of this study was to assess dietary practices and risk profile (hypertension, obesity, lipid profile and glycemic control) among people with diabetes in Al-Ain District, United Arab Emirates (UAE).


During 2006, we performed a cross-sectional study of diabetic patients attending diabetic outpatient clinics at Tawam Hospital and primary health care centers in Al-Ain District. Subjects completed an interviewer-administered questionnaire, blood pressure, body mass index, percentage body fat and abdominal circumference were measured and recorded and the most recent HbA1c levels and fasting lipid profile were identified.


A sample of 409 diabetic patients was recruited, 50% of whom were illiterate. Only 24% read food labeling. 76% reported being unable to distinguish clearly between low and high carbohydrate index food items and no one reported counting calorie intake. 46% reported that they had never been seen by dietician since their diagnosis. Their overall risk profile, notably body weight, lipid profile and blood pressure, was very unfavorable; more than half of the study sample had uncontrolled hypertension and uncontrolled lipid profile and the majority was overweight (36%) or obese (45%). Abdominal obesity was particularly common (59%). Only 31% had an HbA1c of less than 7%.


The dietary practices of diabetic patients in the UAE are inadequate and need improvement.

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