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The study aimed to detail the lifestyle (physical activity and dietary habits) of Moroccan adolescents.
Cross-sectional study undertaken in the framework of the ATLS (Arab Teens Lifestyle Study).
Physical activity and dietary habits were determined using a validated questionnaire in public secondary schools.
A total of 669 adolescents aged 15·0–19·9 years were randomly recruited from Kenitra, Morocco.
Physical activity patterns and intensity differed between genders. As anticipated, male adolescents were more active than female adolescents across a typical week and engaged in more vigorous-intensity physical activity than female adolescents, who spent more time than male adolescents in moderate-intensity physical activity. Of particular concern was that one in five of the adolescents surveyed was inactive, with almost 45 % of the sample reporting television viewing for more than 2 h/d and 38 % engaged in computer use for a similar period. From a dietary perspective, most adolescents reported that they do not take breakfast or consume milk and dairy products, fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. In contrast, most reported consumption of doughnuts, cakes, candy and chocolate more than three times per week and approximately 50 % consumed sugary drinks more than three times per week.
Based on a continuation of the self-reported lifestyle behaviours, adolescents in the present study are at risk of developing chronic diseases. Education programmes are urgently needed to assist in the promotion of a healthy lifestyle and reduce the likelihood of overweight and obesity and related health risks among young people.
Research about the prevalence of underweight and overweight/obesity in the Saudi Arabian female population is limited. The aim of the present study was to examine the dietary habits and the prevalence of underweight and overweight/obesity and associated factors among female university students.
A cross-sectional study.
A university centre for female students in south-western Saudi Arabia.
The study involved 663 randomly selected female university students who self-reported their physical activities, nutritional habits and socio-economic factors. Multiple linear and logistic regression analyses were used to identify factors associated with the students’ BMI, dietary variables, underweight and overweight/obesity.
The majority of the university females were normal weight (56·9 %), but a high prevalence of underweight (19·2 %) and overweight/obesity (23·8 %) occurred. Social factors significantly associated with BMI were the presence of obese parents and siblings as well as physical activity levels, marital status, number of sisters, father’s level of education and more frequent intake of French fries/potato chips (>3 times/week). Several variables were found to correlate with dietary habits, underweight and overweight/obesity. Of special interest is the association between the number of siblings and the participants’ BMI and dietary intake in both negative and positive ways.
The findings of this research have implications for health promotion and prevention of malnutrition among college-aged females. Health-care providers and policy makers need to involve the whole family when promoting females’ physical activity. The study serves as an evidence-based background for planning and implementation of interventions targeting improvement of highly educated populations’ nutritional habits.
The present study was designed to assess physical activity, sedentary behaviours and dietary habits among adolescents in Kuwait and to compare the differences between genders.
A cross-sectional study was conducted among secondary-school children who participated in the Arab Teens Lifestyle Study (ATLS), a multi-centre collaborative project.
Secondary schools in Kuwait.
Adolescents (463 boys and 443 girls), aged 14–19 years.
Nearly half (44·6 %) of the boys and three-quarters (76·0 %) of the girls did not meet the recommended daily physical activity levels (≥2520 MET-min/week, moderate to vigorous intensity). Nearly all (96·3 % of boys and 96·7 % of girls) adolescents reported spending >2 h/d on screen time, with girls found to spend more time per day watching television (P = 0·02) and using a computer (P < 0·001). The large majority of the adolescents reported skipping breakfast and not having milk and milk products, vegetables and fruit daily, while nearly two-thirds of the boys and girls had sugar-sweetened drinks on more than 3 d/week. Compared with girls, boys reported consuming more fruit (3·4 v. 2·8 times/week, P = 0·001), dairy products (4·5 v. 3·6 times/week, P = 0·001) and energy drinks (1·3 v. 1·1 times/week, P = 0·003).
The majority of the Kuwaiti adolescents, especially girls, do not perform adequate physical activity, spend more time on sedentary activities and have unhealthy dietary practices. The findings emphasize an urgent need for implementing an appropriate intervention for promoting physical activity, healthy eating and reducing sedentary behaviours among these children.
To describe the physical activity profile of Saudi adults living in Riyadh, using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) short-version telephone format.
Physical activity was assessed using the official Arabic short form of IPAQ, intended for use in telephone interview. The instrument asks for times spent in walking, moderate- and vigorous-intensity physical activity of at least 10 min duration. The sample consisted of 1616 Saudis, between 15 and 78 years of age, living in Riyadh. Participants were drawn from a list of names in the telephone book using a simple random method. Telephone interviews were administered during the spring of 2003 by trained male interviewers.
The final sample size was 1064 Saudi males and females (response rate of 66%), with males comprising about 66% of the respondents. Over 43% of Saudis did not participate in any type of moderate-intensity physical activity lasting for at least 10 min. More than 72% of the sample did not engage in any type of vigorous-intensity physical activity lasting for at least 10 min. The proportion of Saudis who walked for 150 min or more per week was 33.3%. Females were engaged more in moderate physical activity than males, whereas males participated more in vigorous activity compared with females. Activity levels did not show significant relationships with education level or job hours per week. Based on the three activity categories established by IPAQ, 40.6% of Saudis were inactive, 34.3% were minimally active and 25.1% were physically active. Physical inactivity increased with advancing age.
The data suggest that the prevalence of physical inactivity among Saudis adults is relatively high. Efforts are needed to encourage Saudis to be more physically active, with the goal of increasing the proportion of Saudis engaging in health-enhancing physical activity.
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