Assessment of Knowledge of Saudi Mothers Regarding Causes of Obesity Among Children, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Budur Al Harthi, Maha El-Araby


During the last few decades, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) experienced rapid socio-cultural changes caused by the accelerating economy in the Arabian Gulf region. That was associated with major changes in the activities, food choices and eating habits which, progressively, became more and more "Westernized". Such "a nutritional transition" has been claimed for the rising rates of overweight and obesity which were recently observed among Saudi children. Therefore the objective of this study is to assess the knowledge of Saudi mothers regarding causes of obesity among children Descriptive cross sectional design was utilized in this study. The study was carried out  from mothers at work, and from a community at shopping malls, and the beauty salons. , Riyadh city, (KSA). The study population included a convenient sample of 254 mothers was interviewed in a semi structured interview. Data were collected from October to December, 2015. The tool used was an interview questionnaire which developed and used to collect the necessary data, the questionnaire consisted of 3 parts that include demographics, Questions related to children’s lifestyle and questions related to mother’s knowledge of causes of obesity among children. The results showed that more than half of the sample was in age group 31 to 40 years old about a quarter had high school education, the majority of the sample was married and nearly about two third of them were working. Regarding lifestyle of children, data showed that more than three quarters of children in this study did not practice any kind of sport, while one eights of them practice sport for 3 to 4 hours per day. More than half of the children receive3 basic meals a day, while nearly two third of them eat fast food sometimes., the majority of mothers know that unbalanced diet could be a cause of obesity among children, while about one third of them don’t know that family problems might be a reason for obesity among children. Some demographic variables such as age, education, work, and income were correlated to total mother’s knowledge of causes of obesity among children. The study concluded that thechildren in this study had poor life style regarding practicing of sport, fast food, preferred food elements, watching TV, video games and diet regimen. Mother’s knowledge about causes of obesity among children conveyed a relatively good level. It is recommended strategies and coordinated efforts at all levels to reduce the tendency of overweight, obesity and elevated body fat, and to promote healthy life style in our youth.

Keywords: knowledge, causes of obesity, children

DOI: 10.7176/JHMN/61-03

Publication date: April 30th 2019

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