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The Associations Between Psychological Distress And Body Mass Index Among Young Adults

1436 words - 6 pages

9. Background:
Young adults all over the world face a great deal of difficulties in their daily life. This age group contain high school student, college students, and post graduates. Being a student is not as comfortable as many people might imagine. The kind of stress they have is unique because it is prolonged and whenever finish, starts again. Doing assignments, studying for midterms, deciding their specialties, looking for jobs, and initiating their life careers are examples of the stressors they might face. Moreover, the final exams remain the biggest stressor for the students, because they make them stressed continuously throughout the year to prepare well for it. This stress affects the general health as well as the academic performance. The bad impact on health can be exaggerated if associated with obesity.(1)
Obesity is defined as an increase in the body fat above the normal range. It is associated with a wide range of life threatening conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus, musculoskeletal disorders, and many others.
A crude population estimation of obesity is the body mass index system (BMI). It is calculated by dividing one’s body mass over the square root of their height. It is giving universally in the units of kg/m2. According to the BMI system, a person is considered obese when one scores ≥ 30 on the scale.
Obesity affects globally around 12% of adults aged twenty and over, according to a study conducted in 2008. In Saudi Arabia, obesity is a major concern of health. It’s one of the highest in the world. The prevalence of obesity among females is higher than that of males (39.1% - 28.6%) respectively.(2)
Many studies have suggested the stress and other mental diseases been associated with weight gaining and central obesity.(3) A study, conducted in United States, showed a strong positive correlation between psychological distress and obesity defined by BMI in law enforcement officers.(4)
Psychological distress constitutes five out of the ten leading cause of disability in Saudi Arabia. In general, the social stigma behind mental diseases have prevented people from seeking help when needed. This explains the lack of psychological health studies info from Saudi Arabia and the estimated high prevalence of sub clinical psychological cases.
This paper discusses the association between Psychological distress and BMI for the first time in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). The population of interest in this paper is young adults, which is a population with distinctive number of factors that could affect the results of this study. However, the increasing rate of incidence and prevalence of obesity in Saudi Arabia is associated with the idea of a greater affluence, which will negatively affect the upcoming generation. Saudi Arabia is a young nation. The young adults constitute about 65.73% of the total population, in the meantime, predicting a worsen situation in the near future, if we carry on with these believes....

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