Relationships between Overweight and Obesity with Preferred Mode of Transportation and Use of Neighborhood Facilities in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Manal H Al-Hargan, Mohammad A Al-Ateeq

National Guard Program – Riyadh  2010/2011

Abstract
Purpose: To examine possible associations of obesity with mode of transportation to neighborhood facilities,social environment, type of work, and physical activity at neighborhood facilities and at home.

Methods: This cross-sectional descriptive survey included a total of 312 respondents aged 18 years or older who attended three family medicine centers in the National Guard Hospital, Riyadh, for routine heath care from January 2012 to April 2012. The following measures were analyzed: Body Mass Index (BMI), self-reported modes of transportation to neighborhood facilities, physical activity, social environment, and socio-demographic status.

Results: One-third of participants (33.7%) were overweight and just over one-third (39.2%) were obese. The majority of participants drove to work (98%), school/college (90.2%), shopping malls (95.7%), restaurants (91.5%), and social visits (84%) but walked to mosque (84.3%) and to grocery stores (50.2%). The rate of obesity was higher among participants who drove (45%) than in participants who walked (30%) to grocery store (X2=7, p=0.03). No other significant differences in rate of obesity noted for other destinations.
Conclusions: Obesity rate was higher among participants who used car to reach grocery store (45%) than
participants who used to walk to the grocery store (30%) (X2=7, p=0.03). No other significant differences in rates of obesity noted for other destinations. Further investigation is warranted in order to establish whether this relationship
is causal.

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