Elham Al-Jaaly, Margaret Lawson and Therese Hesketh, University College London, UK
Abstract: There are growing concerns about increasing levels of obesity in adolescents in Saudi Arabia. To address the problem requires an understanding of the determinants. The objective of the study was to quantify the problem of overweight and obesity in adolescent girls in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and to explore the determinants, with a view to informing policy. A cross-sectional survey was conducted among girls aged 13 to 18 in Jeddah. Height and weight measurements were taken and girls completed a questionnaire which explored a range of nutrition-related issues. A total of 1519 female adolescents participated in the study, 24% were overweight or obese and 14% were underweight. This is the first Saudi study to use an ecological model to investigate comprehensively factors that might have an effect on adolescents’ eating behaviours and nutrition status.
Keywords: Adolescents, Girls, Overweight Status, Ecological Framework, Personal and Environmental Factors, Eating Behaviours