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Epidemiology and policy
SP3-32 Nutritional correlates of excess weight among adolescents
  1. Z Afifi1,2,
  2. H Hassan3,
  3. O El-Mahgoub2,
  4. A El-Sayed3,4
  1. 1College of Medicine, King Faisal University, Al Ahsa, Eastern province, Saudi Arabia
  2. 2Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt
  3. 3National Nutrition Institute, MOH, Cairo, Egypt
  4. 4MOH, Al Kasim, Saudi Arabia

Abstract

Introduction This study was carried to study the nutritional correlates of excess weight among adolescent scholars.

Methods Two-phase study, a case finding survey followed by case control study. The survey was carried out in 4 schools in Cairo. It included 1551 students. Weight and height were measured. We classified them according to the WHO BMI cut-offs into excess weight (EWG) and normal weight (NWG) groups. Two stratified random samples, 151 each were selected from the two groups. We enquired about the nutritional knowledge, attitudes, self efficacy and dietary practices (24-h recall and Semi-quantitative-food frequency) in the two groups. The schools' nutrition service was assessed.

Results Overall prevalence of excess weight was 30.2% (obesity 11.6% and overweight 18.6%). The rate was slightly higher in females than in males (33.3% vs 27.2% respectively). EWG had lower mean scores of nutritional knowledge and sound dietary beliefs. Lower percentage of EWG knew about the causes of obesity, were satisfied with their current weight or had self efficacy (p=0.000). One third tried to decrease weight previously and recently. Higher percentage EWG consumed >100% RDA of protein and total energy; >300 mg cholesterol (p=0.000). They consumed all food groups more frequently except fruits. Higher percentage had lots of snacks between meals and when bothered (p=0.000 and 0.02). School nutrition service was deficient and favoured the provision of high energy foods.

Conclusion There is a need to improve the knowledge, attitudes and dietary practices in this age group and to improve the nutrition service at school.

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