Physical activity pattern and its relationship with overweight and obesity in saudi children

Author: Aliss, Eman M.; Sutaih, Rima H.; Kamfar, Hayat Z.; Alagha, Abdulmoeen E.; Marzouki, Zuhair M.
Language: English
Published: 2020
Source: PubMed Central (PMC)
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BACKGROUND: Overweight and obesity among children and adolescents are emerging public health problems. Modifiable lifestyle factors such as physical inactivity and eating out are responsible for the increased prevalence of obesity and related health risks. OBJECTIVE: To examine physical activity level and weight status among Saudi children in relation to age and gender. STUDY DESIGN: In a cross-sectional study, 200 apparently healthy Saudi children (118 boys and 82 girls), aged 5–15 years, were enrolled from the Pediatric clinics at King Abdulaziz University Hospital, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. To determine physical activity level, the International Physical Activity Questionnaire-Short Form-A was used. Anthropometric measurements were taken for all participants. RESULTS: Central obesity was highly prevalent among adolescents as compared with a higher prevalence of general obesity in children. Physical activity level was significantly higher among adolescent boys than adolescent girls (P<.05). Girls scored almost double the total metabolic equivalent scores. More boys were considered highly active (59% vs. 40%) in contrast with more girls with low physical activity (38% vs. 26%). Among girls, high physical activity score was higher in children than in adolescents (40% vs. 21%) and an increasing number of adolescents were of low physical activity than children (64% vs. 38%). The majority of the study population were spending more than 2 h per day in watching TV and playing electronic games, but a slightly higher number of children showed sedentary behavior than adolescents. Adolescent girls were significantly spending more time watching TV than adolescent boys (P<.01). Significant inverse associations with most anthropometric measures and the time spent in watching TV and doing desk work were demonstrated in both genders. CONCLUSION: This study reports significant influence, by age and gender, contributing to physical inactivity and weight status among Saudi children.