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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 75-80

The characteristics of excess body weight in the school-going students of Qatar

Department of Public Health, Ministry of Public Health, Doha, Qatar

Correspondence Address:
Muhammad Asif Ijaz
Department of Public Health, Ministry of Public Health, PO Box 42, Doha
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/am.am_114_21

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Background: Overweight and obesity among students have become a global public health concern. If no effective and timely measures are taken, the percentage is expected to rise. The ministry of public health growth monitoring program aims to gather accurate information about the health status of children and adolescents in the state of Qatar. The results help categorize the participants based on the body mass index (BMI) score as overweight and obese. Materials and Methods: The data were collected during the academic year 2016–17, from 332 school campuses and included 186,986 students. Weight in Kilograms and height in meters was calculated to compute BMI. Using the BMI results, patient's data was segregated based on the World Health Organization procedures for BMI-z-Score. The data were then further analyzed by age, sex, nationality, and on a municipality level. Results: Among 186,986 eligible students, about 42.3% were categorized as overweight and obese, with an approximately equal proportion of students being overweight (20.9%) or obese (21.4%). At 47.1%, Qatari male students had the highest prevalence of overweight and obesity, followed by Qatari females (43.8%), non-Qatari males (43.2%), and non-Qatari females (38.4%). On the basis of gender and nationality, Qatari and non-Qatari male students were predominantly more obese, whereas a higher proportion of female students from both nationalities were overweight. Conclusions: The 2016–2017 growth monitoring project results are somewhat similar to the previous growth monitoring findings. This school-based study provides evidence for relatively high levels of overweight, obesity in the state of Qatar compared to the global average.

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