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Obesity; Prevalence and Associated Factors among Al Baha University Students: An Observational and Cross-Sectional Study | Abstract
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International Journal of Medical Research & Health Sciences (IJMRHS)
ISSN: 2319-5886 Indexed in: ESCI (Thomson Reuters)

Abstract

Obesity; Prevalence and Associated Factors among Al Baha University Students: An Observational and Cross-Sectional Study

Author(s):Abuobaida E. E. Abukhelaif*, Ahmed Hassan Alghamdi, Mohammed Abdullah Ibrahim AlGhamdi, Amjad Yahaya A. AlZahrani, Fares Ghormallah A. Alghamdi, AlHassan Ali Ahmed Alghamdi and Majed Abdulaziz Ahmed Alghamdi

Background: Nowadays, the prevalence of overweight and obesity in Arabic countries was found to be greater than before among young people especially university students. Morbid dietary patterns including high intake of fast foods and meals missing especially breakfast have been suggested as major risk factors for the development of obesity. Objective: The study aimed to estimate the prevalence of overweight and obesity among students from the Albaha University, Saudi Arabia, and to analyses their eating habits. Materials and Methods: The study was an institutional cross-sectional survey carried out at Albaha University from March 2020 to September 2020. Data were collected using an interview questionnaire among 209 students (53.1% males and 46.9% females) aged 18-23years chosen randomly. Results: The results showed that half of the participants (51.7%; n=108) had a Body Mass Index (BMI) within the normal range, 23.8% (n=50) were overweight, 17.8% (n=21) were obese and only 6.7% (n=14) were underweight according to their calculated BMI. A higher prevalence of overweight and obesity (34.5%) was found among male students compared with female students (24.9%) Furthermore, the prevalence of overweight and obesity was higher among respondents aged 18-20 years (41.8%). There were significant differences (p<0.05) between sexes in weight and height in the younger group. Half of the students (54.5%) reported irregular meal patterns and high fast food consumption. two thirds (62.5%) of our respondents were found to practice varieties of sports regularly and actively. The prevalence of low physical activity was significantly higher among females compared to males. There were significant differences between males and females in physical activity (p<0.05). Moreover, 71.4% of our respondents never smoked; in contrast, 28.6% of them were active smokers. Collectively, there were significant differences between males and females in physical activity and smoking (p<0.05). Conclusions: The prevalence of obesity and overweight were moderately high among Albaha University students and were found to be due to several factors correlated to students’ eating habits and practices. Intervention programs should be followed among university students to advocate regular breakfast intake and accepting healthy food choices and lifestylesns.


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