Journal article Open Access
Availability of accurate data pertaining to a population’s dietary patterns and associated health outcomes is critical for proper development and implementation of related policies. This article is a first attempt to share the food patterns, amounts and diet quality among households (HH) in Qatar.
Data from the 2012-2013 Qatar National Household Income and Expenditure Survey (HIES) was used. This cross-sectional survey included 3723 HH (1826 Qatari HH and 1897 non-Qatari HH). Dietary data on monthly amounts food items available at HH according to the nationality was used. The food items were expressed in terms of grams per capita per day and aggregated into groups to examine the food patterns, energy, and adequacy.
The overall average amount of purchased food at HH in Qatar was 1885 g/capita/day. Qatari HH purchased more food (2118 g/capita/day) versus non-Qataris (1373 g/capita/day); however, the percentages of the amounts purchased by food types were similar among both nationalities. Average daily energy (kcal) per capita was almost double among Qatari HH (4275 kcal) vs. non-Qatari HH (2424 kcal). The food items under subsidy program for Qatari citizens provided 1753 kcal/capita/day and accounted for 41% of total daily energy. Proteins (29.2), fats (39.2), sodium (3.3), and vitamin C (32.5) had higher than recommended levels of nutrient density (grams per 1000 kcal). Calcium (227), vitamin A (302.3), fiber (2.0), and carbohydrates (132.6) had lower than recommended levels of nutrient energy density (g/1000 kcal).
The study predicts unhealthy dietary habits among HH in Qatar and provides useful information for policy makers and healthcare community.
Keywords: dietary patterns, household expenditure survey, nutrition, qatar