International Journal of Public Health and Epidemiology

International Journal of Public Health and Epidemiology ISSN: 2326-7291 Vol. 4 (1), pp. 098-106, January, 2015.  © International Scholars Journals

Full Length Research Paper

Prevalence and risk factors of obesity and overweight among Taif University Students, Taif, Saudi Arabia

Lotfi Fahmi Issa

Department of Community Medicine, College of Medicine, Taif University, Taif, Saudi Arabia.

Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Al-Azhar Faculty of Medicine, Cairo, Egypt.


Accepted 04 November 2014


Obesity and overweight are considered the most rapidly growing form of malnutrition in Saudi Arabia. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and some risk factors of obesity and overweight among Taif university students. A cross-sectional approach was conducted and 1473 male students were selected. A self administered questionnaire included socio-demographic data, different forms of activities, sedentary behaviors, smoking, dietary habits and family history was used for data collection. Body mass index was calculated and categorized according to WHO classification. Prevalence of obesity and overweight were 16.1% and 28.5%, respectively. However, higher prevalence was observed in older students (p=0.00). Higher prevalence was found among students with high family income\month (p=0.02), less daily active (p=0.00) and physically inactive students (p=0.03). Moreover, prevalence was more among students consuming non-healthy diet (p=0.00), sleeping less than 8 hours\day (p=0.00) and with family history of obesity (p=0.00). Prevalence was significant among students with highly educated fathers (p=0.01) and low educated mothers (p=0.01). In conclusion, high prevalence of obesity and overweight were recorded among University students. Further studies of large samples representing both sexes as well as health education program on obesity and overweight are highly recommended to the students and their families.

Key words: Prevalence, obesity, overweight, students, University, Saudi Arabia.