Dr. Eman Balbaid
Joint Program Family & Community Medicine, Jeddah – 2014
Background: Overweight and obesity among the children and adolescents are serious health problem facing the world. Despite its increasing prevalence, there are no sufficient interventions undertaken to reduce it. Therefore the current study aim at testing an intervention targeting reduction of overweight and obese schoolgirls in two secondary schools in Jeddah city.
Subjects and methods: Through designed intervention design, five hundred school girls were screened, out of them, 129 were either overweight or obese, and they were subjected to lectures about healthy dietary habits and demonstrated physical exercises. The Pre-post assessment was carried out by using the same questionnaire and repeated measure of BMI. Paired sample t-test was used for continuous variables, and McNemar paired test for binomial variables Statistical significance was considered at P-value <0.05.
Main results: After intervention; there was significant increase in the percentages of schoolgirls who are consuming fruits and vegetables regularly (from 20.2% up to 32.6%) and fresh juices (from 42.6% up to 55%), with significant decrease in regular consumption of fat (from 49.6% down to 19.4%) and carbonated drinks (from 35.7% down to 14%). Therefore, almost one-half of the students indicated that they perceived better mood and activity after experiencing the intervention program. Although there was an increase in BMI, this increase was not statistically significant.
Conclusion and recommendations: The adopted intervention is effective in improving dietary habits among schoolgirls. However, it has not statistically significant effect on BMI. It is recommended to disseminate this intervention in secondary schools of girls, till further researches are conducted to find out interventions that could significantly reduce BMI.