The Journal of Bucharest College of Physicians and the Romanian Academy of Medical Sciences

Diet, Physical Activity, and Their Impact on Chronic Diseases (Hypertension and T2DM) among North-Eastern Morocco’s Population


Morocco is a country in “nutritional transition”, with a traditional Mediterranean food model that is increasingly moving towards a Western model. To study this transition, we aimed to determine the prevalence of chronic diseases (hypertension and T2DM) and their associated factors such as food consumption and physical activity in an adult population in two provinces in the eastern region (Berkane and Nador). A food frequency and physical activity analysis questionnaire (IPAQ International Physical Activity Questionnaire) was used. The results showed a total prevalence of T2DM of 23% and of hypertension of 18%, of which 12% were new cases of T2DM and 6% were incidentally discovered hypertensives. A dietary imbalance was observed more in type 2 diabetics than in hypertensives, either through overconsumption of fatty products, red meats (p=0.006), dairy products (p=0.0001), and sweet products (p=0.015) or through underconsumption of fruit and vegetables (p=0.043) and cereals (p=0.004). In total, 47% of our respondents were strongly adherent to the Mediterranean diet, compared with 53% who were poor adherents. Adherence was unequal among T2DM and hypertensive patients (46.15% vs. 39%). According to the IPAQ questionnaire, 57% were inactive and the vast majority 98% were sedentary. The same trend was observed in diabetics and hypertensives, who were inactive in 44% and 59% respectively, and more sedentary in 98% of cases of T2DM and 99% of cases of arterial hypertension. This study shows an imbalance in the diet of the general and specific populations, either through over- or under-consumption of certain food products. Adherence to the Mediterranean diet was high in 47% of cases, suggesting that the remaining 53% were adopting a Western diet and that this community was inactive and highly sedentary, putting them at greater risk of chronic disease in the future.