Overweight and obesity among adults in the Gulf States: A systematic literature review of correlates of weight, weight-related behaviours, and interventions

Abdulaziz Balhareth*, Ree Meertens, Stef Kremers, Ester Sleddens

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

26 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

Obesity has increased to an epidemic level in the Gulf States. This systematic review is the first to explore the scientific evidence on correlates and interventions for overweight (body mass index [BMI] >= 25) or weight-related behaviours in the region. A systematic search of peer-reviewed articles was conducted using PubMed and PsycINFO. Ninety-one studies were eligible for this review including 84 correlate studies and seven intervention studies. Correlate studies of overweight focused on sociodemographic factors, physical activity, and dietary habits. Low physical activity, sedentary behaviour, and unhealthy dietary habits were associated with overweight. The most-reported sociodemographic correlates of overweight were increased age, being married, low education, urban residence, and unemployment. Correlate studies of physical activity and dietary behaviours mostly focused on sociodemographic variables. Being female and increased age (the latter less consistently) were associated with low physical activity. Interventions were very heterogeneous with respect to the target group, intensity, and behavioural strategies used. The effectiveness of interventions was difficult to evaluate because of the chosen study design or outcome measure, the small sample size, or high attrition rate. Few studies have investigated sociocognitive and environmental determinants of weight-related behaviours. Such information is crucial to developing health promotion initiatives that target those weight-related behaviours.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)763-793
Number of pages31
JournalObesity Reviews
Volume20
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2019

Keywords

  • adults
  • correlate studies
  • intervention studies
  • Middle East
  • overweight
  • obesity
  • FEMALE UNIVERSITY-STUDENTS
  • BODY-MASS INDEX
  • RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED-TRIAL
  • LIFE-STYLE INTERVENTION
  • PHYSICAL-ACTIVITY
  • RISK-FACTORS
  • PERCEIVED BARRIERS
  • METABOLIC SYNDROME
  • DIETARY HABITS
  • SEDENTARY BEHAVIOR

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