The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has one of the highest rates of diabetes in the world. Few data are available on the burden of metabolic syndrome (MetS) among young children. We determined the prevalence of MetS and its components in children 6 to 12 years old in Al Ain, UAE.

As part of a global health project, “Developed and Developing Countries Partnership for Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) Prevention,” 622 parents were invited to bring their children aged 6 to 12 years for assessment of NCD risk factors. A self-administered questionnaire was used to assess sociodemographic characteristics, physical activity, and dietary habits. Blood pressure, height, weight, waist circumference, fasting blood glucose, and plasma lipids were measured. BMI was calculated. Overweight was defined as BMI ≥85th and <95th percentile and obesity as BMI ≥95th percentile, according to 2000 Centers for Disease Control growth charts. We used waist circumference cutoff points (≥90th percentile) to...

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