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Physical activity and dietary habits among Moroccan adolescents


Hamrani, A and Mehdad, S and El Kari, K and El Hamdouchi, A and El Menchawy, I and Belghiti, H and El Mzibri, M and Musaiger, AO and Al-Hazzaa, HM and Hills, AP and Mokhtar, N and Aquenaou, H, Physical activity and dietary habits among Moroccan adolescents, Public Health Nutrition, 18, (10) pp. 1793-800. ISSN 1368-9800 (2015) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1017/S1368980014002274


OBJECTIVE: The study aimed to detail the lifestyle (physical activity and dietary habits) of Moroccan adolescents.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional study undertaken in the framework of the ATLS (Arab Teens Lifestyle Study).

SETTING: Physical activity and dietary habits were determined using a validated questionnaire in public secondary schools.

SUBJECTS: A total of 669 adolescents aged 15.0-19.9 years were randomly recruited from Kenitra, Morocco.

RESULTS: Physical activity patterns and intensity differed between genders. As anticipated, male adolescents were more active than female adolescents across a typical week and engaged in more vigorous-intensity physical activity than female adolescents, who spent more time than male adolescents in moderate-intensity physical activity. Of particular concern was that one in five of the adolescents surveyed was inactive, with almost 45% of the sample reporting television viewing for more than 2 h/d and 38% engaged in computer use for a similar period. From a dietary perspective, most adolescents reported that they do not take breakfast or consume milk and dairy products, fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. In contrast, most reported consumption of doughnuts, cakes, candy and chocolate more than three times per week and approximately 50% consumed sugary drinks more than three times per week.

CONCLUSIONS: Based on a continuation of the self-reported lifestyle behaviours, adolescents in the present study are at risk of developing chronic diseases. Education programmes are urgently needed to assist in the promotion of a healthy lifestyle and reduce the likelihood of overweight and obesity and related health risks among young people.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Dietary habits; Health promotion; Lifestyle; Moroccan adolescents; Physical activity
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Nutrition and dietetics
Research Field:Nutrition and dietetics not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Nutrition
UTAS Author:Hills, AP (Professor Andrew Hills)
ID Code:109180
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:13
Deposited By:Health Sciences
Deposited On:2016-05-31
Last Modified:2021-03-22

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