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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 192-196

Macronutrients imbalance and micronutrient deficiencies among healthy Saudi physicians in Al Madina, Saudi Arabia

Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, Taibah University, Al Madina, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Eman M Alfadhli
College of Medicine, Taibah University, Aljameat Road, P. O. Box 344, Al Madina
Saudi Arabia
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DOI: 10.4103/1658-631X.188264

PMID: 30787728

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Context: Diet and nutrition are important factors in the promotion and maintenance of good health. Physicians are involved in medical nutrition therapy of their patients; however, little is known on how physicians are personally adherent to good nutrition. The aim of the study was to assess the nutritional practices of Saudi physicians. Subjects and Methods: This is a pilot study that included 48 healthy Saudi physicians, of both genders, randomly selected from King Fahad Hospital, Madina, Saudi Arabia from June 2013 to December 2013. Self-reported dietary intake over 24 h was assessed. The adequacy of nutrient intake was evaluated by comparing the physicians' intake to the dietary reference intakes (DRI). Results: The mean age of physicians was 41.6 ± 10 years, weight was 78 ± 20.2 kg, and body mass index was 27.76 ± 5.37 kg/m2. They reported adequate daily consumption of food energy with high intake of carbohydrate (178.5 ± 46.4%) of DRI and high fat and protein intake from animal sources with low fiber intake (34.9 ± 25.1%) of DRI. Daily intakes for most of the micronutrients were lower than recommended with the exception of phosphorus, Vitamin E, and Vitamin B12 with no significant difference between males and females, except for lower intake of iron and Vitamin D by females. Vitamin D was the most severe deficient vitamin; 46.1 ± 53.9% of DRI. Conclusions: Nutritional practices of the sampled group of Saudi Physicians were not optimal. They have a high prevalence of micronutrients deficiencies. In addition, they tend to consume less fiber, more carbohydrate, and food from animal sources. Actions are needed to control nutrition status in Saudi Arabia, including the adoption of healthy eating pattern early in life, extensive nutrition and health education, and intervention strategies.

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