Prevalence of overweight/obesity, anaemia and their associations among female university students in Dubai, United Arab Emirates: A cross-sectional study

Source of Publication

Journal of Nutritional Science


© The Author(s), 2020. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of The Nutrition Society. The present study assessed the associations of overweight, obesity and anaemia with selected lifestyle factors, total body fat and abdominal obesity among female university students in Dubai. A total of 251 female students from a national university in Dubai participated in the present study. Weight, height, waist circumference, Hb level and total body fat percentage were measured. Participants also completed a self-reported questionnaire that included items related to the factors of obesity, anaemia and lifestyle. The study was approved by the University Ethical Committee. Almost one-third of the participants were overweight/obese; 8·5 % had abdominal obesity while 18·1 % had anaemia. Out of the total, 71·7 % reported that they have irregular meals and the highest percentages were found among obese (89·3 %) and overweight (78·0 %) compared with normal-weight (65·4 %) students (P < 0·05). Overweight/obese students reported that they exercise more than those of normal weight (P = 0·05). Students with anaemia reported less exercise than students without anaemia (P = 0·05). Also, the percentage of total body fat was found to be the highest (38·9 %) among students with anaemia (P < 0·05). Overweight, obesity and anaemia are prevalent among female university students. Anaemia seems to be associated with the percentage of total body fat, lack of physical activity and junk food. Further studies are required to investigate the detailed dietary habits of overweight and obese young adult females with anaemia.

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Author First name, Last name, Institution

Haleama Al Sabbah, Zayed University