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ORIGINAL ARTICLE Table of Contents   
Year : 2008  |  Volume : 33  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 172-181
Overweight and obesity and their association with dietary habits, and sociodemographic characteristics among male primary school children in Al-Hassa, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia


1 Department of Family and Community Medicine, College of Medicine, King Faisal University-Al Hassa, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, King Faisal University-Al Hassa, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Tarek Tawfik Amin
Department of Family and Community Medicine, College of Medicine, King Faisal University-Al Hassa, PO Box 400, 31982
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0970-0218.42058

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Objectives: To assess the magnitude of obesity and overweight among male primary school children, and to find the possible association between obesity/overweight and dietary habits and sociodemographic differentials among them. Study design and Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive study, including 1139 Saudi male children enrolled in the 5 th and 6 th grades in public primary schools in Al Hassa, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), was conducted. The test included a multistage random sampling technique, based on interview using Youth and Adolescent Food Frequency Questionnaire, gathering data regarding dietary intake, dietary habits, followed by anthropometric measurements with the calculation of body mass index (BMI), the interpretation of which was based on Cole's tables for the standard definition of overweight and obesity. Sociodemographic data were collected through a parental questionnaire from. Data analysis was performed using the SPSS 12 software (SPSS Inc. Chicago, IL, USA); both univariate and multivariate analyses were performed. Results: The age of the school children ranged from 10-14 years. The prevalence of overweight among the subjects was 14.2%, while that of obesity was 9.7%; the prevalence was more in the urban, older age students. The mothers of obese and overweight children were less educated and more working. Missing and or infrequent intake of breakfast at home, frequent consumption of fast foods, low servings per day of fruits, vegetables, milk and dairy products, with frequent consumption of sweets/candy and carbonated drinks were all predictors of obesity and overweight among the schoolchildren studied. Conclusion: The prevalence of childhood obesity is escalating and approaching figures that have been reported till now from the developed countries. Less healthy dietary habits and poor selection of food may be responsible for this high prevalence.


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  2007 - Indian Journal of Community Medicine | Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow
  Online since 15th September, 2007