The Relationship between Physical Activity, Diet, Fatty Acid Composition and Obesity, in Tunisian Population
Aim: To study the situation of obesity in the Tunisian population by identifying the factors of contributing to obesity and exploring its impact on both genders.
Methods: This is a descriptive retrospective study. We studied 401 randomly selected Tunisian subjects. Participants were characterized as obese if their BMI was ≥ 30 kg/m2.
Results: A total of 401 patients aged 30-62 years were included in this study with a mean age of 48.94 ± 9.57 years. About 60.8% of patients are men and 39.2% are women. One hundred fifty three of patients were overweight and 61.8% were obese. Regarding diet, the majority of men consumed high amounts of fried potato, biscuits and sweets, Fruits and vegetables, sandwiches and Soft drinks and processed juices. Most of patients were physically inactive (63.9% of male and 59.2% of female practiced light physical activity). The majority of patients was farmers, employers and retires (36.4%, 30.2 and 18% respectively). Two hundred and sixteen of patients had high school level (53.3% of men and 54.8% of women). The major complication was dyslipidemia (58.1%), digestive diseases (11%) and immune disorders (9.5%). Regarding treatments, most participants did not use treatment (43.1%: 27.9% males and 15.2% females). Bariatricsurgery was more prevalent in male patients than females (8% vs. 7%). Plasma from female participants had significantly higher content of linoleic acid, γ-linolenic, Dihomo-γ-linolenic, docosatetraenoic, eicosapentaenoic, clupanodonic, docosahexaenoic acids than males.
Conclusion: Obesity rates across Tunisia are alarming. The present study serves to highlight the need for better-quality surveillance data and effective public health interventions to curb rising obesity rates.