Open Access Community-based study of obesity among children and adults in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

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Nowadays obesity is a major public health problem. It is a main risk factor for many fatal diseases. Our study aimed to determine the prevalence of obesity among children and adults in Riyadh and to investigate the associated sociodemographic factors. A cross-sectional, population-based sample of Riyadh was selected through the two-stage cluster sampling technique. All participants attended the local primary health-care center, and a questionnaire interview to obtain sociodemographic data was completed for each. Anthropometric measurements of weight and height were performed. Body mass index (BMI) was calculated, and children having a BMI ≥ 95th age- and sex-specific percentile and adults with a BMI ≥ 30 were considered obese. There were 4,775 participants: 1,848 children and 2,927 adults. Among the children, 10.5% were overweight and 8.7% were obese. Among the adults, 32.4% were overweight and 21% were obese. Among children, a multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that age 6 to 10 years (odds ratio, 2.21; 95% confidence interval, 1.4–3.5) and non-Saudi nationality (odds ratio, 2.2; 95% confidence interval, 1.31–3.7) were associated with childhood obesity. Among adults, urban residence (odds ratio, 1.5; 95% confidence interval, 1.23–1.83), female sex (odds ratio, 2.03; 95% confidence interval, 1.64–2.53), and marriage (odds ratio, 2.11; 95% confidence interval, 1.57–2.82) were associated with obesity in adults, as was Saudi nationality and age above 30 years. Obesity is an important public health problem in Riyadh.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2001

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  • Established in 1978, the Food and Nutrition Bulletin (FNB) is a peer-reviewed journal published quarterly by the Nevin Scrimshaw International Nutrition Foundation.

    The focus of the journal is to highlight original scientific articles on nutrition research, policy analyses, and state-of-the-art summaries relating to multidisciplinary efforts to alleviate the problems of hunger and malnutrition in the developing world.

    Food and Nutrition Bulletin's 2012 Impact Factor: 2.106
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