The relative importance of traditional and "modern" foods for Israeli Negev Bedouins. A population in transition

D. Fraser, K. Abu-Saad, H. Abu-Shareb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The impact of urbanization on the health and nutritional status of developing populations is an issue of concern worldwide. The Bedouin Arabs in Southern Israel are a traditionally semi-nomadic/nomadic population undergoing a rapid process of urbanization which is accompanied by rising chronic disease rates. We examined the diet of urban and rural (more traditional) Bedouins to determine the relative importance of modern foods and drinks in their daily diet. We found that for main meals both populations rely heavily on traditional foods (available before 1948) but for snacks and drinks many manufactured products are used. These products rich in calories may contribute to the changing disease patterns. Rural areas rely more on traditional milk products which are made non-perishable, while urban populations use more meat products and pre-prepared meals because of the availability of electricity and refrigeration. Traditional foods and drink and the traditional way of eating (eating from a common plate) is still a very important part of the Bedouin way of life. This pattern of eating requires the development of culture-specific dietary assessment methodology to allow quantitative assessment of both traditional and more modern foods consumption and handle the eating practices of the Bedouin society today.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-69
Number of pages4
JournalNutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases
Issue number4 SUPPL.
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2001


  • Bedouin
  • Diet
  • Epidemiologic transition
  • Nutrition
  • Traditional diet

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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