Background and Aims Childhood obesity is a well recognized public health problem all over the world with high prevalence in developed countries. The aim of this review is to present data about childhood obesity in middle east countries with special reference to its prevalence, risk factors and co-morbidities.
Methods Recent studies from various middle east countries regarding childhood obesity were reviewed with special emphasis on prevalence, risk factors and co-morbidities.
Results Prevalence of childhood obesity in middle east countries is very variable. In Iraq and Yemen 1.6% of children are obese, in Lebanon the prevalence is 7%. In Kuwait and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia the prevalence is 14% & 11% respectively.(more data will be presented). Risk factors includes urban residence, maternal obesity, higher social class, having computers at home, and special dietary habits. Studies in co-morbidities revealed high prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors and high incidence of glucose intolerance and insulin resistance.
Conclusion Childhood obesity is a growing health problem in middle east countries. It needs epidemiological studies, preventive and early intervention programs.