ABSTRACT: The aim of the study was to investigate gender differences in obesity and related behavior among adolescent school boys and girls in southwestern Saudi Arabia.
A cross-sectional study on a stratified sample of 1,249 adolescent boys and 620 adolescent girls, was conducted in southwestern Saudi Arabia. They were interviewed and examined for weight and height using standardized techniques.
The prevalence of obesity and overweight in the present study amounted to 23.2% among boys and 29.4% among girls. The following significant risk factors were identified; being a female [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) =1.372, 95% confidence interval (CI) =1.099-1.753] and lack of class physical exercise (aOR =1.452, 95% CI =1.149-2.117).
Obesity among adolescents is a public health problem in Southwestern Saudi Arabia. The problem is more prevalent among girls. Thus, there is a need for a national programme in the country to prevent and control obesity among adolescents.
Saudi Journal of Gastroenterology 17(5):318-22.