A Cluster Analysis of Lifestyle and Health Habits of Youth from Two Geographically and Culturally Diverse Countries

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Al-Nakeeb, Y ; Dodd, LJ ; Lyons, M ; Collins, P ; Al-Nuaim, A (2014)
  • Publisher: Scientific Research Publishing

Objectives: Obesity is a leading risk factor for global mortality, promoted by poor dietary habits and sedentary behaviour. This study explores the clustering and differences in dietary habits, body mass index (BMI) and physical activity (PA) amongst youth from United Kingdom (UK) and Saudi Arabia (SA). Methods: 2290 males and females aged 15 - 17 years completed a self-report questionnaire and an objective measure of BMI. Results: Youth from SA had a higher prevalence of overweight/obesity and lower levels of PA than youth from the UK. Males were more physically active than females across both countries. Three clusters were identified: a “high risk” cluster with least healthy dietary habits, low PA and high BMI; a “moderate cluster” with moderate healthy dietary habits, PA and BMI; a “low risk” cluster with healthiest dietary habits, greatest PA and the lowest BMI compared to the other clusters. There were more SA youth in the high and moderate risk clusters compared to UK youth. Conclusions: Exploring cross-cultural and demographic characteristics of youth enables the identification of similarities and differences that might lead to the development of universal intervention strategies.
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