Topical Area: Nutrition Education and Behavioral Science
Objectives : The Healthy Food Palm (HFP) was developed based on the culture and eating habits of Saudi Arabians to preserve and enhance nutrient adequacy and improve health by emphasizing foods and food groups that attenuate the risk of chronic diseases. Limited work has been done to assess the diet quality of Saudi Arabians based on the HFP. Therefore, our objective was to assess adherence to the guidelines among Saudi Arabians.
Methods : A total of 612 Saudi males and females, aged 18 and above, were enrolled in this cross-sectional study. Demographics and social eating practices were obtained using an online questionnaire. Anthropometric measurements including height, weight, and waist circumference of all participants were also obtained. We applied the HFP recommendations for intake of eight food groups using 24-hour dietary recall (24HDR) and developed a scoring system to assess the adherence of the participants to this dietary guideline. The scoring was based on those that met the guidelines (within recommended range) and those who did not meet the guidelines (below and above recommended range). Two 24HDR were initially obtained from the study subjects. However, only 248 (41%) completed the second 24-hour recall. Since the percent agreement in adherence to the food groups for both recalls was high (77%), we used the first recall. Descriptive statistics were obtained for all socio-demographic factors, health characteristics, and the participants’ adherence to HFP.
Results : Our results showed that overall level of adherence to HFP is 26%. For the vegetables, dairy, fruits, grains, water, protein and sugar groups, the majority of participants reported intake below the recommended range (98%, 91%, 88%, 88%, 78%, 62% and 54% of subjects respectively). For the fat group, most subjects (98%) met the recommended intake. When compared to the males, the intake of females was lower than the recommended range. Other groups with intake lower than the recommended range were undergraduate students, single individuals, and those with a normal BMI.
Conclusions : In this study, the results show that Saudi Arabians do not adhere to HFP. Educational interventions should be planned to improve diet quality.
Funding Sources : NO Funding sources