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Teachers Dietary Practices during School Day in Jeddah, Western Saudi Arabia

DOI: 10.4236/fns.2012.311203, PP. 1553-1560

Keywords: Foods, Dietary Practices, Nutritional Behavior, Schools

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Abstract:

The schools teachers dietary practices during the school day should reflect a healthy dietary pattern both in quality and quantity of foods consumed particularly in countries that witness an epidemic of obesity related Type-2 diabetes mellitus. The objective of this study was to identify the local dietary practices of the schools teachers in Jeddah, western Saudi Arabia. A Cross-section observational study using a pre-designed questionnaire to identify the local pattern of dietary practices during school day of a representative sample of schools teachers was conducted in Jeddah. The questionnaire was piloted and administered to a sample of 140 teachers working in 15 schools across Jeddah. A total of 140 Saudi teachers participated. The mean age of the sample was 34.9 ± 6.1 years. Two thirds (66.4%) were females. Overall, 40.5% were overweight and 22.4% were obese. During the school day, tea and Arabic coffee were the commonest daily consumed drinks (67.9%, 65.7% respectively). Almost half of the sample consumed dates on a daily basis (51.4%). Breads and cheese sandwiches were always consumed by 45% and 33.6% respectively. Two thirds of females 67.7% and 55.3% of males were used to have breakfast and/or snack with their colleagues at school. Males preferred to purchase ready-made traditional foods from outside while females preferred the schools canteens. The percentages of overweight and obesity were higher among males compared to females (46.5 versus 37%) and (25.6% versus 20.5%) respecttively. It is concluded that the dietary practices of Saudi school teachers during school day vary according to gender. Findings indicate the need for dietary modification programs directed towards schools teachers in populations which report high prevalence rates of diabetes of similar cultural backgrounds.

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