OBESITY INTERVENTION AT SCHOOL SETTINGS, SOCIAL MOBILIZATIONS, FAMILY ENGAGEMENT AND BEHAVIOURAL APPROACH

  • Waleed Al Faisal, Hamid Y. Hussein, Nusaiba AlBehandy School Health, PHCSS, Dubai Health Authority, Dubai, UAE

Abstract

Background: Obesity and overweight are recognized as major global public health phenomena. Its long term consequences are many chronic conditions like hypertension, Diabetes mellitus, and many more. Childhood obesity is complex and multidimensional, which has been identified as a public health priority. Objectives: To assess the impact of a multi-approach population-based childhood obesity intervention over three years at school population in Dubai. Methodology: Follow up was conducted on about 260000 students in the age range of 5-18 years (grades 1 –12) over about 180 private schools in Dubai, United Arab Emirates in three consequence academic years 2014-2015, 2015-2016 and 2016-2017.  BMI measurement as per WHO growth charts was used at the beginning of each academic year (September). Wide variety of interventions have been designed an applied like health promotion, school nutritional education activities, Food labelling, happy schools initiatives, 10/10 initiative physical activity platform, parents awareness, students health file initiative, City Makers (blue team initiative), community participation (private –public partnership, Governmental stockholders intersect oral collaborations school canteen policy and guideline. Results: The current study revealed that about 10.1% of the total students in private schools in Dubai in the academic year 2014-2015 were obese.    Obesity prevalence during the academic year 2015-2016 was 9.88%. The study reflected that prevalence of obesity among student population at private schools in Dubai during the academic year 2016-2017 was 8.9%. The study revealed that the trend of obesity prevalence among students population at private schools in Dubai is declining over that last three academic years (2014-2015, 2015-2016 and 2016-2017) showing that about 1.2% total reduction during the three year period of applying effective intervention program.  Conclusion:  Multi approach public health intervention for childhood obesity is significant. Maintaining intervention need to be revised, re assessed, monitored and there is a need for strengthening sustainable long term approach through governmental and nongovernmental accountability.