Thursday, 28 January 2016

30% of Saudi Youth is overweight, 16% have sniffed glue or petrol, where are we heading?

A recent study has pointed towards a huge number of health behaviors which are regarded as poor, amongst the teens and the children in the various schools throughout the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This in turn is posing to be a real threat to the lives of these youngsters and can also cause death if not tended to now. A survey was held consisting of 12000 teenagers from various parts across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and were questioned on 12 topics which were broadly health related such as the school situation, family status, road safety, meal behavior, mental illness, bullying, smoking and also medical health services which are available.

Clinical measurements and Blood samples have also aided in pointing out the several health problems such as obesity and various chronic illnesses. The study had been conducted by the head of Adolescent medicine research program at the King Abdullah International Medical Research Center which is located in Riyadh, Dr. Faida bin Saleh Al Bahairan who led a medical team. The study claims that pressing issues amongst the teenagers and youth is poor nutrition and excessive consumption of energy drinks and soft drinks, which are the main reasons behind obesity and weight gain in about 1/3 of the respondents of the survey. It was also noted that an astonishing 16 percent of the 12000 respondents had been smoking too. However what seemed most baffling was that 95.6 percent of the respondents were lacking Vitamin D.

In other daily activities it was noted that 14 percent of these teens did not wear any seat belts and 18 percent would regularly take their vehicles for a drive without the permission of their father. It should also be noted that teens driving automobiles is not only illegal but also a big health risk for others.  The study further indicated that more than 1/5 of the children had been subjected to physical violence in their schools, while 25 percent of them have been bullied in their schools.

Other harmful activities included smoking hookah which 10.5 percent of the teenagers responded in the affirmative in being involved in, while 16.2 percent of them have admitted to inhaling dangerous / lethal substances such as gasoline, glue or any other material. In a statement made to the SPA, Al Bahairan stated that there is a common assumption or rather misconception that children between the age of 10 and 19 enjoy stable and food health. She notified that 70 percent of young or early deaths occur due to any harmful behavior which may have been done in the younger years.

She added that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has established a specialized clinic which has been designed for the health care of children and adolescents, back in 2008. This was done at the King AbdulAziz Medical City at the Health Affairs section of the Ministry of National Guard located in Riyadh. The clinic had been the first of its kind and provided specialized healthcare for youth related mental, physical or any other social issues.

Source: Arab News

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