Trends of Obesity and Overweight among College Students in Oman : A cross sectional study

Hashim Al-Kilani, Mostafa Waly, Randa Yousef


Objectives: Body mass index (BMI), total body fat (TBF), and physical activity in relation to obesity and overweight prevalence among Omani students were studied. Methods: A cross-sectional study of 202 Omani students (101 males and 101 females) from Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) was carried out. Data were collected by interview using a structured questionnaire. Weight, TBF and physical activity score (PAS) were measured using TANITA scales, and height measured using a standardised measuring tape. Results: Subjects were classified based on BMI as: underweight (2.48%), normal weight (69.31%), overweight (26.73%) and obese (1.49%). According to TBF, 32.67% of students had low body fat scores (BFS), 26.73% high BFS and 22.28% very high BFS. Low BFS was insignificantly less likely with the increase in the mean hours of weekly exercising, (odds ratio [OR] = 0.708; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.448, 1.119) and the PAS (OR = 0.728; 95% CI= 0.562, 0.944). Among high and very high BFS students, the mean hours of weekly exercising (6.73±1.20) and physical activity scores (7.51±1.67) were higher than those of healthy students. Nutrition knowledge was higher among healthy students compared to low BFS, and high and very high BFS subjects. Higher nutrition knowledge was associated with a non-significant lower risk of low BFS (OR = 0.986; 95% CI = 0.958, 1.015), high and very high BFS (OR = 0.984; 95% CI = 0.961, 1.008). Conclusion: High and very high BFS were prevalent among subjects with sedentary lifestyles. Nutritional and physical activity interventions should be introduced to combat the problem of overweight students.


Obesity; Physical Activity; Lifestyle; Students; Oman

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Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, PO Box 35, Postal Code 123, Al-Khod, Muscat, Oman

ISSN (Print edition): 2075-051X ISSN (Internet edition): 2075-0528

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