Project Title:

Prevalence of sarcopenia among Saudis and its association with lifestyle behaviors: protocol for cross-sectional study

PI: Abdullah F. Alghannam

Co PI:

Alaa A. Almasud, Suliman A. Alghnam, Dalal S. Alharbi, Mohanad S. Aljubairi, Arwa S. Altalhi, Azad M. Jan, Shaima A. Alothman

Project Summary:

Sarcopenia–an age-related muscular disease manifesting as a loss of muscle function and mass–leads to detrimental consequences at both individual and community levels. Modifiable lifestyle factors (such as physical behaviors and nutritional habits) may be involved in sarcopenia etiology. European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older Population (EWGOSP2) established a cut-off point for sarcopenia diagnosis based on the European population and they recommend the use of a regional normative population. However, no sufficient data on sarcopenia prevalence is presently available in Saudi Arabia. Therefore, this project aims to define appropriate reference values from healthy Saudi young adults (Phase I) and to investigate the prevalence of sarcopenia in Saudi Arabia (Phase II) and examine selected modifiable lifestyle correlates of sarcopenia (Phase I, II).


Project Title:

The association between dietary patterns and sedentary behaviors with body composition parameters among Saudi office-based workers

PI: Dr .Shaima A. Alothman, PT, PhD

Co PI: 

Ghada I. Alhoumedan, BSc., Clin Nutr

Muhanad S.  Aljubairi, MSc

Alaa A. Al Masud, PhD

Project Summary:

Unhealthy lifestyle behaviors, including sedentary lifestyle and poor diet, are well-known risk factors of obesity. Such behaviors have been recently increasing noticeably in the working population due to many factors, including rapid technological changes and economic advances resulting in a reduction in physically active jobs and a rise in sedentary occupations. However, little is known about the role of sedentary behaviors and poor diet with body composition parameters in Saudi office-based workers. Thus, this study will examine the association between macronutrient intake and sedentary behaviors (SB) with body composition parameters such as fat mass (FM), and waist to hip ratio (WHR) among Saudi office-based workers. Objective measurement will be used to measure sedentary behavior; moreover, a prospective dietary method; three‐days estimated food diary record, will be used to assess dietary intake. Lastly, body composition of the subject will be analyzed by using bioimpedence analyzer. All and all, valuable information is to be generated in Saudi Arabia in this context, which is of beneficial for the developing and designing health promotion strategies for managing obesity.


Project Title:

Measurement of Resting Metabolic Rate among Saudis: Impact of Sex, Age and Body Composition

PI: Dr. Alaa A Almasud, PhD

Co PI: 
Professor. Hazzaa M. Al-Hazzaa, PhD, FACSM, FECSS
Dr. Abdullah AlGhannam, PT, PhD, FACN, FRSPH
Dr .Shaima A. AlOthman, PT, PhD
Ms. Nada M. Albawardi, PT, MPH

Project Summary:

The present investigation aims to assess resting metabolic rate (RMR) among Saudi population, including children, adolescents, and adults of both sexes. In addition, this research aims to validate common predictive equations that estimate RMR in underweight, normal, overweight, and obese participants. This cross-sectional investigation will involve at least 400 participants from the community. Anthropometric data are going to be collected and RMR is going to be measured by indirect calorimetry for 20 minutes following an overnight fast. Measurements will be conducted in the Lifestyle and Health Research Center using Metalyzer stationary gas analyzer system (Cotrex, Germany). Common predictive equations such as Harris-Benedict, Mifflin-St Jeor, Owen,et al, and, WHO equations will be validated. Habitual physical activity, sleep and sedentary behaviours are going to be measured using validated questionnaire. Body composition will be assessed using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) and bioelectric impedance analysis (BIA).


Project Title:

Development & Validation of an Arabic Sedentary Behaviors Questionnaire (ASBQ)

PI: Professor Hazzaa M. Al-Hazzaa, PhD, FACSM, FECSS

Co PI: Shaima A. AlOthman, PT, PhD

Co I: 
Nada M. Albawardi, PT, MPH
Abdullah AlGhannam, PT, PhD, FACN, FRSPH
Alaa A Almasud, PhD

Project Summary:

With the increased reliance on technology, electronic communication, heavy use of transportation, and accelerated urbanization, sedentary behaviors are becoming very prevalent globally as well as locally. Prolonged sitting has been associated with cardiovascular diseases risks and increased mortality even while controlling for leisure time physical activity levels. Measurement of sedentary behaviors by objective instruments very costly, requires technical expertise and is very challenging in terms of time and management, especially when testing large groups of people. Currently, there is no validated self-reported instrument in Arabic that can be used to assess sedentary behaviors among adolescents or adults and relate such sedentary activity to social, environmental and health outcomes. Therefore, the main aim of the present research project is to develop an Arabic sedentary behaviors questionnaire along with testing its content, construct and criterion validity as well as examining internal consistency and test re-test reliability. The developmental and testing the psychometric properties of the questionnaire will consist of the following phases: phase 1: constructing the questionnaire’s items, phase 2: testing content validity, phase 3: pre-testing the developed questionnaire, phase 4: testing the internal consistency of the questionnaire’s items, phase 5: testing the construct validity of the questionnaire, phase 6: testing the reliability of the questionnaire, and phase 7: testing the criterion validity of the questionnaire, using activPAL accelerometer as the criterion measure. It is highly anticipated that the developed and validated instrument will be vastly received by local and regional researchers and will hopefully contribute to more understanding of the sedentary activity of the Saudi population and its determinants and associations with social, environmental and health outcomes. The validated sedentary behaviors instrument will also have a significant role in testing any future intervention aimed at reducing sedentary behaviors among Saudi population.


Project Title:

The Association between Sleep and Cognitive Performance in Saudi Arabia

PI: Shaima A. Alothman, PhD, PT

Co PI: 

Norah Alhowaish, B.S, CRC; Azad Jan, M.S

Project Summary:

Sleep is an essential factor in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, which is primitive in the recovery of body and brain. Many studies have shown the impact of poor sleep on cognitive abilities, as it affects the process of learning and memory functioning. Nonetheless, little is known about the impact of sleep duration and quality on the cognitive functioning in healthy adults. The aim of this study is to assess the association between sleep quality and quantity and cognitive abilities among the lifestyle and health research center workers. The participants will be recruited according to the inclusion and exclusion criteria. Sleep will be assessed using Pittsburgh sleep quality index (PSQI) and cognition will be assessed using Montreal cognitive assessment (MOCA) to find the association between sleep and cognitive performance. The findings of the present study is expected to highlight the relationship between sleep and cognitive performance among office workers.


Project Title:

Childhood Obesity: Parents-children lifestyle behaviors and associated anthropometric, cardiovascular, respiratory, endocrine and metabolic factors
(PNU-Childhood Obesity Study)

PI : Prof. Hazzaa M. Al-Hazzaa

Co PI: 

Ahlam M. Alotaibi, MD, CABP, SBP

Nada M. Albawardi, PT, MPH

Abdullah F. Alghannam, PT, PhD

Alaa A Almasud, PhD

Najla A. AlGariri, MD, SBP, ABP

Shaima A. Alothman, PhD PT

Project Summary:

The prevalence of pediatric obesity has risen alarmingly across both developed and developing countries in recent years. In Saudi Arabia, pediatric obesity is becoming prevalent and the recent transition in lifestyle with associated changes in nutrition have largely contributed to the increase in obesity prevalence observed among Saudi children and youth. Therefore, the aim of the present research project is to investigate the complex associations between lifestyle behaviors, sociodemographic characteristics, children’s quality of life, body image, self-esteem, and home and built environment of obese children and their parents with children’s anthropometric, cardiovascular, respiratory, endocrine, and metabolic functions. Comprehensive baseline data will be collected from overweight and obese children and adolescents and their family and compared with a group of normal weight children and adolescents. We will also be looking into different interfamilial associations and differences between children and adolescents with and without obesity. The study sample will include all overweight or obese children and adolescents (250 participants), from the obesity clinic at King Abdullah Bin Abdul-Aziz University Hospital (KAAUH) as well as their parents along with 120 healthy non-overweight non-obese children and adolescents from the pediatric clinic in KAAUH and nearby community. Ethical permission will be sought from IRB at PNU. The following extensive variables are going to be assessed and studied: anthropometric measurements, skeletal maturation, body composition measurement, blood pressure, resting metabolic rate, maximal cardiopulmonary function, blood lipids, fasting glucose, hemoglobin A1c, insulin resistance, resting heart rate and heart rate variability, central pressure and pulse wave velocity, physical activity levels, sedentary behaviors, sleep patterns, dietary intake, vitamin D level, muscular strength and flexibility, bone density, child’s quality of life, body image perception, self-esteem, and home and built environment. Also, will be included the following biomarkers: leptin, ghrelin, adiponectin, Peptide YY, brain-derived neurotrophic factor, inflammatory markers IL-6, CRP and FTO gene. It is expected that the findings of the present study will provide valuable data on obesity correlates and determinants among Saudi children and adolescents, which will have significant implications for the health and well-being of Saudi children and youth. Such important information can be used effectively for planning and executing children’s health promotion programs, weight control strategies and lifestyle interventions.


Project Title:

Lifestyle Behavior Profile during Ramadan – Pilot Study

PI: Dr .Shaima A. Alothman, PT, PhD

Co PI: 

Mohammed Alshehri, PT, PhD; Alaa A. Almasud, PhD; Abdullah F. Alghannam, PT, PhD

Project Summary:

Lifestyle behaviors are sensitive to cultural norms and the nature of the geographical location. Furthermore, fasting during Ramadan might affect the whole spectrum of lifestyle behaviors as a unit. Thus, in this proposal we are planning to assess lifestyle behaviors before, during, and after Ramadan taking in account the unique cultural norms and the geographical location of Saudi Arabia. Lifestyle behaviors will be assessed using objective measures along with subjective measures to measure physical behaviors, 3-day food record to assess nutritional intake and habits, and self-reported questionnaire will be used to assess stress and social connection.  Body composition and physical function will be assessed to evaluate the immediate effect of fasting and lifestyle behaviors on these outcomes. The results of this study is expected to provide valuable information generated in Saudi Arabia context, which is of beneficial for the developing and designing health promotion strategies for healthier fasting.


Project Title:

Lifestyle behaviors and dietary habits of Saudi adolescents living in Riyadh: Revisited after a ten-year period

PI: Prof. Hazzaa M. Al-Hazzaa

Co-PI: Nada M. Albawardi PT, MPH

Project Summary:

In 2009, a group of Arab researchers, including those from Saudi Arabia, initiated the Arab Teens Lifestyle Study (ATLS). The main findings of ATLS data that was collected from Saudi Arabia indicated that Saudi adolescents 15-19 years old had high prevalence of overweight plus obesity, increased physical inactivity and sedentary behaviours, insufficient sleep and unhealthy dietary habits. The findings have also identified several lifestyle factors associated with obesity among Saudi adolescents. By next year, there will be a ten years span from the past ATLS data collected on adolescents living in Riyadh. Therefore, the present research project intends to revisit the lifestyle behaviours and dietary habits of Saudi adolescents living in Riyadh city and examine the trend of such lifestyle behaviours research design, methodologies and instruments that were used in 2009. Making comparison between the two cohorts provides indirect evidence on the changes in the Saudi adolescents’ lifestyle behaviours that have occurred over the course of 10 years.