Fruit and vegetables intake, diabetes and associated health risks in the Kuwaiti population

Ahmad Alkhatib, Abdullah Alkandari, M Al Haddad , Noël C Barengo, Elisabete Weiderpass, Qais Al Duwairi, Jaakko Tuomilehto

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


The association between poor nutrition and health risks is known. However, data are lacking in high-prevalence regions such as in Middle East. This study describes associations of fruits and vegetable intake with indicators of diabetes and associated risk factors in the Kuwaiti population. A national cross-sectional survey analysis involved 3915 Kuwaiti people aged 18-69 years. Self-reported fruit and vegetables portions were calculated for total daily fruits and vegetables (TFV), and categorized into quartiles (0-2, 2-3, 3-5 and >5 serving/day). Diabetes indicators [glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) and fasting plasma glucose (FPG)], and health risk factors of body mass index (BMI), resting heart rate (RHR), systolic and diastolic blood pressure (SBP, DBP), total cholesterol (TChol), low and high-density lipoprotein (LDL, HDL), triglycerides (TG), and sedentary sitting times (SIT) were analyzed for TFV effects and for gender, age and BMI differences. TFV was lower than WHO-recommended guidelines irrespective of gender, age or BMI. TFV (>2 serving/day) only explained HbA1c and SIT (p<0.05) independently of age and BMI, but not of gender. TFV was higher for men than women (p<0.05). In men, TFV (>2 serving/day) explained lower SBP and DBP, and higher HDL (p<0.05), whereas in women, TFV only explained a higher SIT (p<0.01), but none of the remaining risks. Low overall TFV in the Kuwaiti population necessitates targeted nutritional interventions. TFV association with higher overall HbA1c and SIT, and lower SBP and DBP in men suggests that other unhealthy dietary components possibly influence those risks, which requires further investigation.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 7 Sept 2018
Event5th UK Congress on Obesity - Newcastle University, Newcastle, United Kingdom
Duration: 6 Sept 20197 Sept 2019


Conference5th UK Congress on Obesity
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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