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Lifestyle Behaviors and Socio-Demographic Factors Associated with Overweight or Obesity Among Saudi Females Attending Fitness Centers

Authors AlTamimi AA, Albawardi NM, AlMarzooqi MA, Aljubairi M, Al-Hazzaa HM

Received 26 March 2020

Accepted for publication 9 July 2020

Published 24 July 2020 Volume 2020:13 Pages 2613—2622


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Konstantinos Tziomalos

Abeer A AlTamimi, 1 Nada M Albawardi, 2 Mezna A AlMarzooqi, 3 Mohanad Aljubairi, 2 Hazzaa M Al-Hazzaa 2

1Health Sciences Research Center, Princess Nourah Bint Abdulrahman University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; 2Lifestyle and Health Research Center, Health Sciences Research Center, Princess Nourah Bint Abdulrahman University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; 3Department of Community Health Sciences, College of Applied Medical Sciences, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence: Hazzaa M Al-Hazzaa Email [email protected]

Objective: To examine the associations of overweight or obesity with several lifestyle and socio-demographic factors among Saudi women attending fitness centers in Riyadh.
Methods: Saudi females (n = 460) aged 16 years and older were recruited from 12 randomly selected fitness centers in Riyadh, using a stratified clustered sampling technique. Bodyweight and height were measured. Lifestyle behaviors were assessed using a previously validated instrument, and included physical activity, sedentary behaviors, sleep, and dietary habits.
Results: Over 62% of the participants were either overweight or obese. Mean BMI values for females younger than age 30 years (26.4 ± 5.3) were significantly lower than those 30 years of age or older (29.2± 5.6, p > 0.001). There was a significant correlation (r = 0.450, p < 0.001) between BMI levels and the participant’s reason to engage in exercise for weight loss. Females who were overweight/obese are significantly older, married, have more children, have a lower educational degree, earn less income, have higher numbers of obese in the family, and had attempted to lose weight more frequently than non-overweight/non-obese females. No significant differences were detected between females who were overweight/obese and those who were not overweight/obese in the majority of the lifestyle-related variables, except that females who were not overweight or obese showed lower weekly consumption of milk and dairy products (p =0.029) and higher intakes of fast foods per week (p =0.049).
Conclusion: Weight loss attempts, age, number of obese in the family, and females’ education level emerged as the most important contributory factors to obesity status, explaining nearly 23% of the common variances. A better understanding of the relationships between obesity and lifestyle behaviors is necessary for effective prevention and management of obesity in Saudi females.

Keywords: body mass index, fitness center, lifestyle behaviors, obesity, socio-demographic factors

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