Gaffar Sarwar Zaman
Department of Clinical Biochemistry, College of Medicine, King Khalid University, Abha, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Background: We evaluated the influence of lifestyle patterns such as watching TV, working with computer and idle sitting time on perceptions of obesity and beliefs about overweight are associated with obesity and overweight amongst Expatriates in Abha. Materials and Methods: The method used in this study was a cross-sectional survey with a self-administered paper-based questionnaire. The survey collected information on lifestyle choices and the risk factors that contribute to obesity. In addition, height and weight were measured. Results: Greater number of our study subjects spent over 2 h/day without any physical activity, specifically accounting for over 2 h/day each in viewing TV, computer, and spending idle time. This increased lack of physical activities was significantly associated with overweight. While the overweight subjects were aware of very wide options for treating their condition, a significant number believed in self-effort in managing their diet and exercise regimen as the best efforts to reduce their overweight. Interestingly very few overweight subjects considered medication or surgery as a potential therapeutic option and 75% of the overweight subjects considered overweight to be of no or only slight concern on wellbeing. Conclusions: Overweight and obesity among expatriates within Saudi Arabia poses an important public health problem. The lack of awareness about the potential impact of obesity on health and optimal treatment options is a serious concern, which needs to be addressed by appropriate public health programs at national level.
Keywords: Lifestyle patterns, obesity, public health.