Impact of Dietary, Socioeconomic, and Physical Factors on Obese and Overweight Schoolchildren Living in Sidi-Bel-Abbes (West of Algeria) and Ain Defla (Centre)

Abstract

Background and aims: The aim of the current study was to assess the impact of environmental factors; food, socio-economic, and physical activity, on a group of obese children living in Ain-Defla (Center Algeria) and Sidi-Bel-Abbes (West Algeria).

Material and methods: The protocol was carried out on a cohort of 125 school children aged of 5 to 11 years, including 64 boys and 61 girls, and 139 school children, including 93 boys and 46 girls in Ain Defla and Sidi-Bel-Abbes respectively. Concerning the classification of obesity and overweight, we referred to the International Obesity Task Force and the French References' curves.

Results: Regarding dietary intake our results showed that 34% of students from both regions took their breakfast, compared to 66% who did not take. Furthermore, 73% of students skipped at least one meal, however 23% respected meals frequency i.e. 4 meals a day. Regarding socio-economic factors and physical activity, our findings showed that obesity rates were high (36%) among children whose fathers are workers. However, for mothers who are housewives, obesity increases among their children (88%). The relationship was reversed between the parents' education level and the Body Mass Index. We found an opposite relationship between Body Mass Index and physical activity, and investigated children use screen devices for long time periods.

Conclusions: Our study showed a positive relationship between obesity and overweight and environmental factors.

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