Macronutrient Adequacy of Breakfast of Saudi Arabian Female Adolescents and its Relationship to Bmi
Vedavalli Sachithananthan, Wedad Flyyh Mtlk Al Rashedi

Background: An alarming increase in the number of overweight and obese children and adolescents in KSA has occurred because in recent decades the Western diet is replacing the traditional Arabic diet. This coupled with faulty eating habits and lifestyle are strongly associated with the development of obesity. Aim of the study: This study tested the hypothesis whether the current breakfast habits of adolescents and early adults are related to the increase in overweight and obesity among Saudi Arabian adolescents. Materials and methods: In 2012, a cross-sectional study was conducted among 1000 female adolescents and early adults (19-24 years old) who were selected by random sampling from four randomly sampled colleges in the University of Hail KSA. The BMI was assessed using anthropometric measurements. Dietary habits were evaluated by a 24 hour dietary recall and a food frequency questionnaire. The percentages of DRIs met by macronutrient intake during breakfast were calculated using ESHA software. Results: The results of the study revealed that a majority of the subjects belonged to the normal weight category (50 %), followed by overweight (28 %), underweight (12 %) and obese (10 %) categories. All the macronutrient intakes (calories, carbohydrates, fats and proteins) during breakfast fell short of the DRIs by 11 to 19 %. No significant differences existed in the macronutrient intake of breakfast between the obese and non obese groups. Practical implications: In summary, increased weight status of Saudi adolescents and early adults was related to their improper dietary habits especially deficient nutrient intakes during breakfast. This indicates the importance of rapid promotion of healthy lifestyle, breakfast habits and advocating the need for nutrient dense food choices among Saudi Arabian adolescents.

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