Table of Contents
International Journal of Family Medicine
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 432732, 9 pages
Research Article

Lifestyle and Dietary Behaviors among Saudi Preschool Children Attending Primary Health Care Centers, Eastern Saudi Arabia

1Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Dammam, Saudi Arabia
2Qatif Primary Health Care, Ministry of Health, Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia
3Dammam Primary Health Care, Ministry of Health, Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia

Received 24 April 2014; Revised 16 June 2014; Accepted 17 June 2014; Published 10 July 2014

Academic Editor: Samuel Y. S. Wong

Copyright © 2014 Magdy A. Darwish et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. To study life styles and dietary behaviors among Saudi preschool children (1–5 years) attending primary health care centers (PHCCs) in Dammam and Qatif areas, eastern province, Saudi Arabia. Material and Methods. Cross-sectional study. Data were collected using structured, interviewer-filled questionnaire. Children and their mothers were encountered during their well-baby clinic visits. A total number of 300 preschool children and their mothers were interviewed during study period. Results. Unsatisfactory areas include smoking fathers (32%), smoking in front of children (11.3%), overweight and obesity among mothers (60.3%), noncompliance using seat belts for both parents (56.3%) and children (68%), children watching television (T.V) more than 2 hours (50%), adherence to exclusive breast feeding (only 20.7%), and late solid food introduction (65.3%). Frequent intake of unhealthy food items was 26%, 25%, and 24% for pizza, burger, and soft drinks. Unfortunately frequent intake of the following unhealthy food items was high: biscuits, deserts/chocolates, and chips which was 78%, 67%, and 72%, respectively. Conclusion. This study provides benchmark about the current situation. It provides health care workers and decision makers with important information that may help to improve health services.