Obesity is one of the three gravest threats to human health but no study has been conducted in the 2nd holiest city of Muslims Al Madinah Al Munawarrah located on western part of Saudi Arabia.
This study aimed to evaluate the prevalence of overweight and obesity in school children.
Participants were healthy school boys and girls aged 05-18 years. It was a cross-sectional stratified study. Total sample size was 6000 consisting of 3000 boys and 3000 girls Twenty (20) schools were selected with random stratification with the help of Ministry of education. Data were collected between April - December 2017. Height and weight of children were measured to calculate percentiles for BMI-for-age and -sex according to the 2000 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) growth charts, Overweight and obesity was defined as BMI-for-age/sex ≥_85th and ≥ 95th percentile respectively.
Results: The overall prevalence of obesity was 14.7% (n= 588). Obesity Prevalence in boys was 16% (n=347) and in girls was 14% (n=241). The overall prevalence of overweight was 15.4 % (n= 616). The Prevalence in boys was 16% (n=366) and in girls was 14% (n=250). Conclusions
Overweight and obesity in school children in Al Madinah Al Munawawarh is as high as global prevalence is. Intervention and prevention programs should focus on primary school students. Ministry of education and Ministry of health have a key role .Dietitians and public health workers can play an effective to control obesity.