Glycemic Index Of Foods, Adiposity And Metabolic Syndrome Risk In Emirati Young Adults

Maysm Nezar Mohamad


This dissertation is concerned with determining the prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MetS) in Emirati females aged 17–25 years and its relation to overweight and obesity. It also aims to determine the glycemic index (GI) and glycemic load (GL) values for traditional Emirati foods that have not been tested yet.

In a cross-sectional study design, anthropometric measurements, blood pressure and biochemical measurements were collected from a total of 555 Emirati female college students and the prevalence of MetS was concluded. Furthermore, at least fifteen healthy subjects participated in the measurement of GI and GL values for each of the twenty-three Emirati test foods.

This study showed a high prevalence of MetS among college female young adults aged 17–25 years (6.8%). Of the 555 participants enrolled, 23.1% were overweight and 10.4% were classified as obese. MetS was significantly associated with obesity, waist-hip ratio, glycated hemoglobin and high sensitivity C-reactive protein. The current study also provides a comprehensive food composition table including proximate data, minerals, vitamins, lipids, and sugars contents, along with GI and GL values of twenty-three locally consumed foods in the UAE, which could be utilized in offering better dietary recommendations for the Emirati population.

The results advocate the need for MetS identification and immediate intervention programs to improve the future health of this youthful group.