Childhood and adolescent obesity: Primary Health Care Physicians’ perspectives from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Faiza Nasser AlOtaibi, Majeedah AlOtaibi, Shiakhah AlAnazi, Hanan Al-Gethami, Deemah AlAteeq, Rowaydah Mishiddi, Amna Rehana Siddiqui


Background & Objectives: Primary health care (PHC) physicians are foremost to confront childhood and adolescent obesity.Our objective was to evaluate PHC Physicians perspectives for managing overweight/obesity in children and adolescents.

Methods: PHC services from eight public hospitals in Riyadh participated. A self-administered tool maintaining anonymity evaluated facilitators and barriers for managing overweight/obese children and adolescent patients. Physicians who ‘always’ recommended weight management for an overweight / obese patient during past year, by involving patient, parents, and others were classified as having positive and appropriate practice.

Results: Of the 58 respondents, 51.7% had appropriate practices. Lack of patient motivation (82.2%), and parental involvement (70.7%) were the major barriers. Physicians with appropriate practices differed in perspectives from those with less appropriate practices by attending continued education forums (p<0.026), referring patients to sub-specialty (p< 0.041), clinical knowledge (p<0.039), convinced on interventions (p<0.017), low concern for precipitating eating disorders (p<0.019), comfortable in examining obese patients (p<0.020), and considered patient’s readiness for weight change (p<0.007).

Conclusion: Efforts are needed to equip PHC physicians in managing overweight and obesity in Saudi children and adolescents.


How to cite this:AlOtaibi FN, AlOtaibi M, AlAnazi S, Al-Gethami H, AlAteeq D, Mishiddi R, et al. Childhood and adolescent obesity: Primary Health Care Physicians’ perspectives from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Pak J Med Sci. 2017;33(1):100-105.   doi:

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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