A Study of Overweight and Obesity among Secondary School Students in Dubai: Knowledge, Attitude, and Practice

Wasfy A, Almarzouky A, Alattar F, Mahdy N, Makhlouf M, Ahmed A
2008 Journal of High Institute of Public Health  
The prevalence of overweight and obesity among children and adolescents in UAE was dramatically increased in the last few years, which has major public health implications. The aim of the present study was to assess knowledge, attitude, and practice towards overweight and obesity among secondary school students in Dubai. A cross sectional study was carried out in private secondary schools in Dubai using a multistage stratified random sample technique. Self administrated questionnaire was
more » ... ionnaire was utilized to collect data about socio-demographic characteristics, knowledge, and attitude towards obesity, perception of the students about their weight, methods, and barriers of practicing weight reduction. Results revealed that 33.5% of the students had good knowledge about obesity and its complications while 44.8% had poor level. Positive attitude towards obesity and its treatment was found among 57.0% of the students with no significant gender difference. More than half of the students (56.7%) agreed that obesity is a disease and 72.1% agreed that obesity needs treatment. Self perception of being obese was found among 58.5% of the students, and the majority (72.6%) did not practice any weight reduction before. Females had significantly higher rate of practicing weight reduction compared to males. The most common barriers against practicing weight reduction were lack of knowledge about the methods (47%), lack of time (25%), and lake of interest or support (23.2%). Female gender and higher education of the mother were independent predictors of good knowledge about obesity, while higher education of the mother was an independent predictor for student's positive attitude towards obesity. Utilization of the mass media to enhance the level of community knowledge about obesity and its complications was recommended. Health education materials should be delivered to present and future mothers. School health programs should include interventions to improve knowledge, attitude, and practice of the students towards obesity.
doi:10.21608/jhiph.2008.20912 fatcat:u6ku42lg45cg3phspbvcm767hm