Adiposity in Kuwait: relationships with diet and physical activity
Introduction: Like many industrialised countries, Kuwait has witnessed a dramatic rise in the prevalence of overweight and obesity over the past decade. Precise international comparisons are problematic since previous studies on Kuwaiti adults have relied on convenience, rather than representative, sampling of the population. This study examined relationships between adiposity, energy intake and physical activity in a representative sample of the Kuwaiti population. Methods: A sample of 383 subjects was selected by random sampling of the population. Data from 24 hour diet recall, anthropometry (height, weight, waist, hip), self-reported education, and self-reported physical activity were collected. Results: 32% of male and 43.5% of female subjects were obese (BMI>35). A further 35% of males and 30.4% of females were overweight (BMI 25-30). Age, gender, education level, physical activity level, and total energy intake were associated with BMI. Mean BMI exceeded 25 in all age groups except females aged 20-24. Mean Waist:Hip ratios exceeded cutoffs for overweight in all age groups. Conclusion: Obesity prevalence in Kuwait is particularly, especially amongst adult females. Interventions to reduce obesity prevalence for people with lower education levels in particular are required. Cultural and gender-related constraints are a particular challenge to effective intervention.
Population Health Congress 2008. A Global World - Practical Action for Health and Well-being