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Human Nutrition to Prevent Obesity in Syria
DEXA Instrument used for bone density measurements
DEXA Instrument used for bone density measurements

May 17, 2010

Major or minor illnesses, hormonal disorders, inadequate food intake, specific deficiency of various nutrients, and psychosocial deprivation are some of the large number of factors which have been recognized as potential causes of retarded growth. Obesity is rising among adults, and children worldwide, including population living in developing countries. The published data related to Syria are insufficient to address this issue. Body mass index (BMI), and bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) are often used to reflect total body fat amount (general obesity), whereas waist circumference (WE), waist-to-hip ratio (WHpR) or waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) is used as a surrogate of body fat centralization (central obesity). Recent data suggest that current overweight and central adiposity guideline based on Western populations are not appropriate for Asian population. The IAEA has been assisting Syria in addressing obesity issues through the TC project SYR/6/012 The Role of Human Nutrition in the Prevention of Obesity and Related Non-communicable Diseases which started in 2005.

Under this project human capacity was build through fellowship training, scientific visit and expert missions. The IAEA has provided Syria with essential tools and equipments that are necessary to conduct the study. The Syrian counterparts are now capable of performing studies related to obesity. A study has been conducted on 74 of 18 years old males. In this study, body composition methods, including skin folds, bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA), body mass index (BMI), and using a combination of body composition methods were selected to asses the body composition. Total body water was determined by deuterium oxide dilution, and fat free mass (FFM) fat mass were derived from this measurement. The complete study and final results will be published in the near future.


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