Caffeine consumption among Zayed University students in Dubai, United Arab Emirates: A cross-sectional study

Rola M. Al Ghali, Hessa Al Shaibi, Huda Al Majed, Dalia Haroun

Abstract


Arab Journal of Nutrition and Exercise, Vol. 1, No. 3

Published on 24th December 2016

Abstract

Background: Over the past decade, the global caffeine consumption rate has increased dramatically. Coffee and tea are among the common sources, but energy drinks are becoming an important contributor to total caffeine consumption. Recommendations for daily caffeine intake is not being followed due to the perceived benefits of caffeine which include mood improvement, concentration, social factors, and energy boosting. This study was important to add to the limited data about caffeine consumption in the Gulf region and mainly in the UAE.

Objectives: The objectives were to determine the prevalence of caffeinated beverage consumption among university students and perceived benefits in addition to the estimation of daily caffeine consumption (mg/day).

Design: Data was collected through a self-reported questionnaire from a total of 175 participants (129 females and 46 males) who were conveniently selected from different settings at Zayed University - Dubai. Usual Caffeine intake was calculated from all caffeine containing beverages.  

Results: Eighty six percent of the 175 participants, both males and females, at Zayed University-Dubai consumed caffeinated beverages with an average intake of 249.7±235.9 mg. The intake among the 150 caffeine consumers varied from 4.2 mg/day to 932.2 mg/day. Average intake of caffeine was not significantly different between genders (P=0.125). Thirty five percent of the population consumed more than 400 mg/day of caffeine, with no statistical difference between males and females (P=0.202). Coffee was the most commonly consumed drink among both genders, followed by tea. Most perceived benefits of caffeine consumption were not significantly different except for the relationship between caffeine and improved exercise performance (P=0.018) and caffeine in relation to weight loss (P=0.001) among males.

Conclusion: The prevalence of caffeine consumption at Zayed University was high among both males and females. Further research is necessary to estimate the total caffeine intake from all dietary sources, mainly the cultural foods and beverages, and to determine the relationship between accessibility to caffeine containing beverages and caffeine consumption among University student.


Keywords


Caffeine; University students; gender difference; Dubai; UAE

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