Prevalence of childhood obesity in the state of Kuwait

Naser Elkum, M. Al-Arouj, M. Sharifi, A. Shaltout, A. Bennakhi

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15 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Overweight and obesity have reached an epidemic in Kuwait, with the highest rate of adult obesity in the region. National estimates of childhood obesity in Kuwait are scarce. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the prevalence of overweight and obesity among school children in Kuwait. Methods: This is a cross-sectional study of a representative sample of 6-18years old school children, randomly selected from 244 schools in Kuwait. Anthropometric data was measured from 6574 students in September 2012-June 2013. Overweight and obesity have been defined in accordance with the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), International Obesity Task Force (IOTF) and World Health Organization (WHO) 2007 criteria. Results: The prevalence estimate overweight was based on the three different systems (CDC=17.7%, IOTF=23.3%, WHO=21.6%). The prevalence of obesity was (CDC=33.9%, IOTF=28.2%, WHO=30.5%). Boys had a higher percentage of obesity regardless of the classification system used. Conclusions: The prevalence of childhood obesity is alarmingly high in the State of Kuwait and exceeds the prevalence rates reported from neighbouring countries and from North America.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPediatric obesity
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2015



  • Arabs
  • Children
  • Obesity
  • Prevalence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

Cite this

Elkum, N., Al-Arouj, M., Sharifi, M., Shaltout, A., & Bennakhi, A. (Accepted/In press). Prevalence of childhood obesity in the state of Kuwait. Pediatric obesity.