NYMC Faculty Publications

Assessment of Overweight, Obesity, Central Obesity, and Type 2 Diabetes Among Adolescents in Qatar: A Cross-Sectional Study

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International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

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Qatar has a high obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) burden. This study aimed to (1) determine the prevalence of overweight, obesity, and T2DM in 13-17-year-old adolescents and (2) evaluate associations with adolescents' lifestyle and breastfeeding history, parental weight, and familial T2DM history. A cross-sectional study (double-stage cluster sampling) was conducted in 2018-2020 using a self-administered parental and adolescent questionnaire. In the results, 23.4% of the adolescents (107/459) were overweight; 19.9% (91/459) were obese; and 37.6% (171/459) had evidence of central obesity. Random blood sugar (RBS) was suggestive of prediabetes (≥140 mg/dL) for 23 (5.0%) adolescents and T2DM (≥200 mg/dL) for none. In multivariable analysis, obesity was significantly associated with no breastfeeding (OR = 3.17, 95% CI: 1.09-9.26) compared to breastfed adolescents for ≥6 months, with first-degree family history of T2DM (OR = 2.27; 95% CI: 1.22-4.27), with maternal obesity (OR = 2.40; 95% CI: 1.01-5.70), and with acanthosis nigricans in adolescents (OR = 19.8; 95% CI: 8.38-46.9). Central obesity was significantly associated with maternal obesity (OR = 2.21; 95% CI: 1.14-4.27) and with acanthosis nigricans (OR = 3.67; 95% CI: 1.88-7.18). Acanthosis nigricans (OR = 4.06; 95% CI: 1.41-11.7) was the only factor associated with elevated RBS. Addressing future disease burden among adults in Qatar will require extensive health and well-being programs, focused on healthy lifestyles and behaviors such as nutritious diets, physical activity, stress management, and self-care.