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Int J Innovat Med Edu Res. 2016; 2(1): 45-50

Habits and lifestyle assessment of obesity and overweight among primary school students in Al-Madinah City

Awad Mohammed Al-Qahtani, Yahya Mohammed Al Ragea, Mohammed Salh Al-Amrah, Salem Ali Al Qarni, Abdulaziz Muflih Abudasser, Meshal Hassan Alshehri.

Background: Childhood obesity has become a new challenge for health-care providers. The issue is not limited to certain parts of the world; its prevalence is increasing worldwide. The causes of obesity are poorly understood and continue to be debated and studied.

Objectives: To analyze the prevalence of obesity and its relationship with habits among male primary school children.

Materials and Methods: Cross-sectional study was conducted in male primary school students of Al-Madinah, using cluster sampling technique. Data were collected through a questionnaire, and anthropometric measurements were recorded.

Results: The mean age of the study participants was 11.22 years, standard deviation 1.073 years. Majority of them (92.5%) were living with both parents. The prevalence of overweight and obesity was 18.9% and 19.4%, respectively. Working fathers constitute 84.1% and working mothers constitute 28.4%. Participants, who reported eating three meals daily constituted 59.7% whereas 16.9% ate fruits and vegetables always, and those eating sandwiches and other light snacks between meals were found to be 88.1% of the study participants. During the previous month, 40.8% participants drank juices at home several times a week whereas 10.4% used to drink twice or more times a day. Most of the study participants used milk or milk products during the previous month of which 70.6% preferred whole milk and 18.9% preferred low-fat milk. Majority of the study participants, that is, 46.3% ate fast food and 34.8% ate junk food, many times per week during the previous month. Sedentary life was found in 32.8% whereas 67.2% participants preferred outdoor activities. Approximately one-third, that is, 33.3% participants watch television for a duration of 3 h after the school weekdays and 66.2% watch television ≥3 h at the weekends during the previous month.

Conclusion: The results of this study showed considerable prevalence of childhood overweight and obesity among the participants. It highlights the unhealthy dietary habits such as eating of junk and fast food by the study participants and prevalence of obesity among the
study participants.

Key words: Obesity, overweight, students, Saudi Arabia

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