Objective: The goal of this study was to compare eating patterns of Jews and Muslim Bedouins and investigate possible dietary causes for discrepancy in obesity rates. Methods: We pooled two surveys that included data from 793 Jews and 169 Bedouins aged 35-64 years recruited from 1998 through 2003 in southern Israel. For the Jewish sample, we used a proportional geographic cluster random sample of persons aged ≥ 35 years. For the Bedouins, a convenience sample of 519 participants was used. Participants were interviewed at home, using modified 24-hour food questionnaires with additional questions regarding health and eating habits. Results: The Jewish group was older and better educated than were the Bedouins. The Bedouins had a higher age-adjusted body mass index than did the Jews (P=.03), and the rate of obesity was higher among Bedouins than Jews (27.9% vs 20.0%, respectively). Compared to Jewish men, Bedouin men reported lower intake of fat, cholesterol, total saturated fat, and protein and fat as a percentage of total energy, but they reported higher intake of carbohydrates, fiber, and carbohydrates as a percentage of total energy. Bedouin women reported lower intake of total saturated fat, percentage of protein and fat, and higher intake of carbohydrates and fiber than did Jewish women. Conclusion: The Bedouin population is adapting Western eating patterns that appear to be associated with increased obesity. To address this problem, culturally sensitive intervention programs will have to be developed.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Ethnicity and Disease|
|State||Published - 1 Dec 2008|
- Dietary intake
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