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The prevalence of under five (2-5) years childhood obesity at the well baby clinic of North West Armed Forces Hospital (NWAFH) at Tabuk City

Fatma Khider Faraj.


Background: Childhood overweight and obesity are rapidly growing in developing countries, including Saudi Arabia. However it is challenging to know that overweight and obesity as well as related non communicable diseases are largely preventable.

Aims & Objective: To measure the prevalence of under-five (2-5) childhood obesity in children visiting the well-baby clinic in NWAFH in Tabuk city in the month of the study as well as to determine some of the underlying factors.

Materials and Methods: This is a cross-sectional study included Saudi Children under five (2-5 years) attending the well-baby clinic in NWAFH, Tabuk during March 2013. Obesity was determined by national growth charts and CDC body mass index charts. Data collection tools included check list filled by researcher, by interviewing the parents, growth parameters measured at well baby clinic and blotted on the CDC growth charts and reviewing of under-five children's files at well baby clinic.

Results: The study included 170 children who were from 2 to 5 years. Males were 54.11% while females were 45.99 %. The prevalence of childhood obesity (overweight) was 7.6%, while (63.5%) of the study subjects were in the healthy weight area. Working mothers showed higher significant prevalence of their childhood obesity compared to non-working mothers (27.3% versus 4.7%). This difference was statistically significant, p=0.002. Nutritional history, mother`s education, family income, number of kids and duration of watching TV were not significantly associated with childhood obesity.

Conclusion: The prevalence was considerable, showing that obesity really is a health problem growing day after day in both children and adults and it needs more and more attention because it leads to a lot of health issues.

Key words: Childhood; Obesity; Prevalence; Associated Factors; Saudi Arabia

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