Dietary Intakes among Kuwait Adolescents: Identifying Dietary and Non-dietary Determinants

Document Type : Original Article


1 College of Basic Education, PAAET, Kuwait

2 Food and Nutrition Administration, Ministry of Health, Kuwait

3 Home Economics Department, College of Basic Education, The Public Authority for Applied Education and Training, Kuwait

4 Food and Nutrition Administration, Ministry of Health, Kuwait.


Adolescents (aged 10 to 19 years) represent the largest generation in Kuwait. The vulnerability of this age group to malnutrition is well documented due to increase nutritional requirements, an unhealthy food environment, and to inadequate attention in most health and nutrition awareness programs.  Objective to assess the nutritional status, including dietary and anthropometric parameters, among school children in Kuwait. Three days of face-to-face multiple-pass 24-hour recalls were collected from 479 children in a cross-sectional design study. Weight, height, and blood hemoglobin were measured.  Girls were more likely to be overweight (27.1%), whereas boys were more likely to be obese (25.5%), P = 0.028. Results show that most Kuwaiti adolescents exceed the recommendations for energy and most nutrients, except vitamin E, vitamin D, and calcium. Within middle school, the average energy intake was 2591.2 and 2201.4 kcal/day; while in the high school group was 2570.1 and 2056.0 kcal/day for boys and girls, respectively. Breakfast consumers have a higher intake of all nutrients than breakfast-skippers do. Adolescents, who are physically active, have a significantly higher intake of energy, carbohydrate, protein, fat, and fiber than inactive adolescents do. Physically active adolescents have a significantly higher intake of folate, iron, calcium, and zinc than inactive adolescents do. Conclusion: Monitoring adolescent dietary intake and nutrition status is key to preventing adolescent malnutrition in the short term and diet-related disease in the long term. Targeted nutrition intervention program and reevaluation of school feeding program and canteens are needed.