Discordance between Lifestyle-Related Health Practices and Beliefs of People Living in Kuwait: A Community-Based Study

alfadhli, Suad; al-Mazeedi, Sabriyah; Bodner, Michael E.; Dean, Elizabeth
January 2017
Medical Principles & Practice;Jan2017, Vol. 26 Issue 1, p10
Academic Journal
journal article
Objective: To examine the concordance between lifestyle practices and beliefs of people living in Kuwait, and between their lifestyle practices and established evidence-informed recommendations for health.Subjects and Methods: A cross-sectional interview questionnaire study was conducted using a convenience sample of 100 adults living in Kuwait (age range 19-75 years). The interview included sections on demographics, and lifestyle-related practices and beliefs related to smoking, diet/nutrition, physical activity/exercise, sleep, and stress. Diet/nutrition and physical activity/exercise benchmarks were based on international standards. Analyses included descriptive statistics and the χ2 test.Results: Beliefs about the importance of nutrition in lifestyle-related conditions were limited, and this was apparent in participants' dietary habits, e.g., low consumption of fruit/vegetables and multigrains: 16 (16%) and 9 (9%) met the recommended guidelines, respectively. Ninety-nine (99%) believed physical activity/exercise affects health overall, and 44 (44%) exercised regularly. Of the sample of 100, 20 (20%) exercised in accordance with evidence-based recommendations for maximal health. Compared with beliefs about other lifestyle-related behaviors/attributes, respondents believed nutrition contributed more than stress to heart disease, cancer, and stroke, and stress contributed more than nutrition to hypertension and diabetes.Conclusion: In this study, our findings showed a discrepancy between lifestyle-related practices and beliefs, and between each of these and evidence-based recommendations for maximal health, i.e., not smoking, several servings of fruit and vegetables and whole-grain foods daily, healthy weight, restorative sleep, and low-to-moderate stress levels.


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