Affiliations: [a] Department of Academic Development and Quality, Jazan University, Faculty of Applied Medical Sciences, KSA | [b] Department of Health Promotion, Maastricht University, The Netherland | [c]
Ahfad University for Women, School of Medicine, Sudan
| [d] Department of Clinical Nutrition, Jazan University, Faculty of Applied Medical Sciences, KSA | [e] Department of Family and Community Medicine, Jazan University, Faculty of Medicine, KSA
Corresponding author: Mohamed Salih Mahfouz, Department of Family and Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Jazan, Saudi Arabia. E-mail: [email protected].
Abstract: BACKGROUND:A balanced nutrition is vital for healthy growth and development. Recently increasing attention is paid globally for adolescent nutritional profile and eating patterns. The main objectives of this study are to define the prevalence of obesity, overweight, thinness, and anemia and to describe the distribution of nutritional problems among the participants of the study in Jazan City, southwest Saudi Arabia. METHODOLOGY:An observational cross-sectional study was conducted to characterize the basic health behavior and nutritional status among adolescents. A total of 502 school-going adolescents were recruited for this study, within the age group 12–19 years from intermediate and high schools in Jazan City. RESULT:The total prevalence of obesity was 13.9%, 16.4%, and 10.6% for males and females, respectively. Adolescents with normal weight accounted for almost 53.2%, with no significant difference between males and females. The overall prevalence of anemia was 44.16%. The prevalence was higher in male (50.0%) than in female (40.4%) adolescents. Regarding the importance of breakfast, 66.3% of the males and 52.6% of the females think that breakfast is a necessary meal, with a significant difference between the males and the females. Significant differences were reported for 16 food items. For the food items liver, goat’s meat, eggs, milk, yogurt, white rice, mango, tangerine, fruit juices, honey, sausage, carrots, and coffee, the boys were more consumers than girls. CONCLUSION:The prevalence of overweight and anemia corresponds to the other findings in the region. Eating behaviors vary particularly with regard to breakfast, the most important meal for adolescents aged 12–19 years. Any intervention to overcome these problems could be achieved by nutrition promotion and individual approach among adolescents themselves for behavior change at school and community levels.