Background & Objectives: School children among the most vulnerable groups that pass critical periods of physical, mental, and developmental growth are in need of special nutrition and health care. Little is known about the nutritional status of school children in Qatar. The aim of the present investigation is to determine the anthropometrics measurements (height, weight and body mass index) of Qatari school children, comparing the study results with the international reference population and to determine the relationship between obesity and lifestyle. Methods: Study was conducted on a sample from Qatari school children. A representative sample (1500 children) were selected between the ages of 6-12 from 23 schools using multistage cluster random sample, while 200 cases from each age group were targeted as primary sampling unit. Data about number of physical education classes, hours of physical activity per week, and information about the sedentary life style were obtained by utilizing a standardized self-administered questionnaire. Results: The current results showed that the percentage of body weight for Qatari children were significantly higher than the reference values while their body height percentage were significantly lower than the reference. Using the WHO (2007) classification of BMI for children, 8%, 16% and 23% of studied children had thinness, overweight and obesity, respectively. The majority of children (55.1%) spent more than 2 hours daily watching TV, surfing the internet or playing electronic games, 25.8% didn't report any kind of physical activity and 48.8% had physical activity less than one hour/day. The current study showed that there is a significant relationship between children's physical activity and prevalence of overweight and obesity. Conclusions: The current work looks at school children in Qatar to create a more complete picture of the current state of health and help to determine how lifestyle and environmental changes can be mitigated as a causal factor of obesity and therefore lifelong poor health.


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