In Saudi Arabia, where the climate is hot and dry and grilled meat and rice are the staples of many meals, one in five adults is overweight. That’s a significant proportion, but it’s a number that has been steadily decreasing since the kingdom launched an anti-obesity push in the wake of Vision 2030 reforms, led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The survey, conducted by a local research firm, included 574 participants from Riyadh and its surrounding areas. It used a simple online self-administered questionnaire that was designed in accordance with the Checklist for Reporting Results of Internet E-Surveys (CHERRIES) and Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (STROBE) guidelines. The questionnaire also incorporated official graphics from both the Healthy Food Palm and Saudi Healthy Plate guidelines.
Approximately half of the survey participants reported being familiar with either the Healthy Food Palm or the Saudi Healthy Plate dietary guidelines. However, respondents were less likely to be able to correctly identify the daily recommended portions of cereal and bread, fruit and vegetables on the respective guidelines’ visual illustrations.
Several survey participants noted that they had experienced some changes to their eating habits following the introduction of the MOH’s calorie labeling policy. Although the majority of them were not able to name any specific weight loss results, they did indicate that their choices had changed and that they were spending less on ready food than before. In addition, the cost of some healthier foods was found to be lower than the price of their unhealthy counterparts, notably within dairy products and in vegetable selections. أكل صحي الرياض