Al-Muraikhi, Amal Essa Ahmad Thani (2012)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
Introduction: Obesity has been recognized as a major public health problem worldwide that requires preventive action. Prevention is best targeted at children, there is lack of quantitative and qualitative research on obesity prevention in children and most have been conducted in western countries. The aim of this study is to describe the prevalence of obesity among 6-7 years old school children, investigate contributing factors and identify potential components for an intervention programme to prevent obesity amongst children in the State of Qatar. Methods The study consisted of two distinct parts: cross sectional survey and focus groups with a range of stakeholders. Results: Whilst there was a high prevalence of overweight and obesity 16%, underweight was also prevalent (21.7%). The results of the focus group discussions indicate that causes of childhood obesity are multifactorial, and a multi-sector approach to prevention would be acceptable. Some of the important barriers that need to be considered in developing interventions were highlighted. Conclusion: In Qatar there is coexistence of underweight and obesity in primary school children. Qualitative results suggest that a multi-sector approach to prevention would be acceptable toward dietary and physical activity, and suggested potential components for an intervention programme in preventing obesity amongst children in the State of Qatar.
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