Background: In the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 2015, 13.5% of children aged 5 – 17 years were determined to be obese. Anthropometric tools, combined with the dietary and related questionnaire data, provide credible information on trends in overweight and obesity among populations.
Objectives: The authors sought to ascertain the accuracy and validity of self-reported weight, height, waist and hip circumference values by comparing self-reports with actual measurements of these four important anthropometric measures and their correlation and variation with age, gender, nationality among youth participants resident in UAE. The study also aimed to ascertain participants’ knowledge about the calorie contents of macronutrients as well as fizzy drinks.
Methods: A network-based sampling approach was adopted for this study, with Individuals aged between 18 to 35 years who were resident in the UAE between July and December 2017 enrolled. A semi-structured questionnaire was designed to collect face-to-face quantitative anthropometric and nutrition data from participants.
Results: Findings revealed high correlation between self-reported and measured weights and heights. Almost 16% of study participants were obese and about 25% were overweight. The level of nutrition literacy was assessed to be poor.
Conclusion: Greater nutritional awareness may facilitate improvements in obesity prevention among youth in UAE.
Keywords: Anthropometry, UAE youth, Nutrition literacy, Self-assessed weight and height, BMI.