Journal of Food and Nutrition Research
ISSN (Print): 2333-1119 ISSN (Online): 2333-1240 Website: Editor-in-chief: Prabhat Kumar Mandal
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Journal of Food and Nutrition Research. 2018, 6(4), 250-255
DOI: 10.12691/jfnr-6-4-7
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Childhood Obesity and Quality of Meals: The Saudi School Meal and Home Meal Study SSMHMS – A Cross Sectional Study

Noura M S Eid1, , Abeer AlJahdali1, Eram Albajri1 and Manal Naseeb1

1Faculty of Applied Medical Sciences, Department of Clinical Nutrition, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Pub. Date: April 27, 2018

Cite this paper:
Noura M S Eid, Abeer AlJahdali, Eram Albajri and Manal Naseeb. Childhood Obesity and Quality of Meals: The Saudi School Meal and Home Meal Study SSMHMS – A Cross Sectional Study. Journal of Food and Nutrition Research. 2018; 6(4):250-255. doi: 10.12691/jfnr-6-4-7


Epidemiological studies have shown a strong association between childhood obesity and quality of food consumed in schools and at home as well. The objectives of this study are to assess quality of school meals and home meals of children between the age 3 to 5 years old, and their obesity level. A cross sectional study conducted on one hundred and thirty children (3-6 years of age; 73 boys and 57 girls) of a private preschool in Jeddah city .Firstly we assessed children weights using anthropometric measurements (height, weight, BMI, IBW/Age, IHT/Age). Secondly Schools meals were analyzed using the USD super tracker (food analysis program) and dietary intakes using both FFQs and 2-day food records to be filled by mothers. We also assessed mother’s knowledge, using a questionnaire. Statistical analysis was conducted using SPSS program by applying one way ANOVA using the LSD test and univariate ANOVA test. Data have shown that the prevalence of normal weight, underweight and overweight of the subjects were 66.1%, 6.7% 26.3% respectively. Results showed a significant difference between normal weight student and overweight (p≥ 0.001) and a significant difference between underweight student (p≥ 0.001) and overweight student. Also, there was a significant difference between underweight student and normal weight student (p≥ 0.001). School meal analysis results indicated that the total calories on breakfast are slightly low (23% of total requirement) but the total calories in lunch are slightly high (40% of total requirement) comparing to RDA. Protein content was at the normal range, whereas carbohydrates and saturated fat were at the higher level at lunch (>7%). Finally, responses from mothers on child’s home meals were zero. In conclusion, the current study showed that 27% of children were overweight, and meals did not meet the RDA with carbohydrate and fat and lack of interest with mothers to be involved in child nutrition. Such data suggests an increase in the awareness of nutrition and health to staff responsible of preparing meals at schools, teachers and mothers to prevent childhood obesity.

obesity childhood school meals home meals mothers

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