Epidemiology of overweight and obesity in early childhood in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries: a systematic review and meta-analysis protocol

Type Article

Journal Article


M. A. Nahhas; F. Asamoah; S. Mullen; B. I. Nwaru; U. Nurmatov

Year of publication



BMJ Open








INTRODUCTION: There has been a notable increase in the prevalence of overweight and obesity in school-aged children in many industrialised regions. The worldwide prevalence of childhood overweight and obesity increased from 4.2% in 1990 to 6.7% in 2010. Although many studies have been published, the epidemiological burden of overweight and obesity in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates) is unclear. There is a need to bring together and appraise relevant studies in order to estimate the epidemiological burden (including incidence, prevalence, risk factors, trend over time) of overweight and obesity in this region and thus help to inform national and regional policies. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: We will conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis on the epidemiology of overweight and obesity in early childhood including incidence, prevalence, risk factors and trends over time in the GCC countries. We will search international electronic databases including MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, ISI Web of Science, CINAHL, Google Scholar, AMED, Psych INFO, CAB International and WHO Global Health Library for published, unpublished and in-progress epidemiological studies of interest published from inception to 2017. In addition, we will contact an international panel of experts on the topic. There will be no restriction on the language of publication of studies. We will use the Effective Public Health Practice Project (EPHPP) to appraise the methodological quality of included studies. Meta-analysis will be undertaken using random effects models. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Ethical approval is not required. The outcome of the review will be disseminated through conference presentations and peer-reviewed journal publication. PROSPERO REGISTRATION NUMBER: CRD42017073189.