Medical students represent a significant community investment and promoting their health preserves this investment. In order to design health promotion programs for medical students in the United Arab Emirates, students' needs were assessed by means of a cross-sectional self-administered questionnaire survey. Major findings of the survey included: 14% of students were underweight while 24% of students were overweight or obese; the majority believed their activity levels were insufficient (77%), their stress levels too high (65%) and their diet unhealthy (50%); 33% were not sufficiently active to meet minimum recommended levels; few students (22%) had seen a doctor in the past year and many were unaware of important personal health parameters. When presented with hypothetical health situations, many made inappropriate choices. This survey identified significant health-promotion opportunities for these students that can be carried out during medical school in order to establish a healthier physician population.
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