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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 23  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 82-87

The association between physical activity and overweight and obesity in a population of children at high and low altitudes in Southwestern Saudi Arabia


1 Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, King Khalid University, Abha, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, University of Science and Technology, Omdurman, Sudan

Correspondence Address:
Mohammed E.M. Khalid
Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, King Khalid University, P. O. Box 641, Abha - 61421
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2230-8229.181011

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Objective: To assess the relationship between overweight and obesity and physical activity in Saudi children born and permanently domiciled at high and low altitudes in Southwestern Saudi Arabia. Subjects and Methods: A cross-sectional study of 145 healthy Saudi children aged 10–15 years who were born and lived permanently at high altitude (3000–3100 m) and 154 healthy Saudi children of comparable age who were born and lived permanently at a relatively low altitude (500 m) was conducted. For each subject selected, body weight and body height were measured using an Avery beam weighing scale and a stadiometer, respectively. Body mass index (BMI) was calculated using the equation BMI = (weight [kg]/height [m2]). Physical activity scores were determined using International Physical Activity Questionnaire-Short Form-A. Resting radial pulse rate (beat/minutes) was determined clinically. Results: Physical activity was significantly and inversely associated with overweight and obesity in boys at both high (χ2 = 15.8, P< 0.001) and low (χ2 = 14.7, P< 0.001) altitudes, but there was no clear trend for girls at either altitude. The lack of association between physical activity and overweight and obesity in girls was attributed to the low and homogeneous level of physical activity. Conclusion: Physical activity should be encouraged as a strategy for weight reduction in the overweight and the obese and the prevention of overweight and obesity in Saudi children at high and low altitudes.


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Journal of Family and Community Medicine | Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow
Online since 05th September, 2010