Mapping food purchase behaviour patterns in the State of Kuwait

Dr Saad Alsharrah1,2, Associate Professor  Neil Coffee2, Dr Dari Alhuwail1,3, Professor  Mark Daniel2

1Dasman Diabetes Institute

2University of Canberra

3Kuwait University


In the state of Kuwait, type 2 diabetes is a major public health concern with approximately 441,000 cases of diabetes for adults for an adult population of 2,922,000 (15.1%).  This alarming statistic reflects recent shifts in lifestyle behaviour including insufficient physical activity and unhealthful food choices. The primary commercial food outlet (market) in Kuwait is the Co-op society stores – government sponsored mega-supermarkets providing attractive prices and profit returns to consumers.  One advantage of this model is consumers hold memberships in their local Co-op, with food purchase data recorded for each member.  Utilising these rich data, this study applies a spatial lens to analyse food purchase data from Co-ops and evaluates categories of food purchases in relation to demographic features and the built environment, including accessibility to Co-ops.  This geospatial analytic approach provides the capacity to investigate household-level food purchase patterns as a key component of the relationships between social and built environmental factors and chronic diseases including diabetes.


Saad Alsharrah is a GIS Consultant at the Dasman Diabetes Institute and a Visiting Fellow at the University of Canberra.  His research interests include health, social and environmental applications of GIS.


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