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Trends and future projections of the prevalence of adult obesity in Saudi Arabia, 1992-2022

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Mark PearceORCiD, Professor Julia Critchley, Dr Eugene Sobngwi


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The prevalence of obesity among adults in Saudi Arabia increased from 22% in 1990-1993 to 36% in 2005, and future projections of the prevalence of adult obesity are needed by health policy-makers. In a secondary analysis of published data, a number of assumptions were applied to estimate the trends and projections in the age-and sex-specific prevalence of adult obesity in Saudi Arabia over the period 1992-2022. Five studies conducted between 1989 and 2005 were eligible for inclusion, using body mass index (BMI) >= 30 kg/m(2) to define obesity. The overall prevalence of obesity was projected to increase from around 12% in 1992 to 41% by 2022 in men, and from 21% to 78% in women. Women had much higher projected prevalence than men, particularly in the age groups 35-44, 45-54 and 55-64 years. Effective national strategies are needed to reduce or halt the projected rise in obesity prevalence.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Al-Quwaidhi AJ, Pearce MS, Critchley JA, Sobngwi E, O'Flaherty M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal

Year: 2014

Volume: 20

Issue: 10

Pages: 589-595

Print publication date: 01/10/2014

Acceptance date: 10/06/2014

ISSN (print): 1020-3397

ISSN (electronic): 1687-1634

Publisher: World Health Organization Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean