Background: Being overweight is associated with cardiometabolic risk, and lifestyles including smoking and good sleep hygiene are also implicated. We aimed to assess the dietary habit, time spent on social media, and sleep duration relationship to body mass index (BMI) among medical students in Tabuk, Saudi Arabia.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 147 clinical phase medical students in the Medical College, University of Tabuk (Saudi Arabia) from January 2018 to May 2018. A checklist questionnaire was used to measure variables such as age, sex, smoking, level of exercise, whether taking meals and snacks regularly, eating fast food, fruit and vegetable consumption, sleep duration, time spent on social media, and breakfast skipping. Data were analyzed by IBM-SPSS version 20, using one-way ANOVA and Pearson's production-moment correlation (r). A p-value of less than 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Results: Participants consisted of 51% males, mean age (Mean ± SD) was 22.90±1.27 years, sleep duration was 7.50±2.17 hours, time spent on social media was 5.54±3.49 hours, body mass index was 24.8±5.19, and breakfast skipping, fast food consumption, smoking, and regular exercise were reported in 52.4%, 87.7%, 12.9%, and 36.1% respectively. A significant negative correlation was evident between BMI and sleep duration (r= -0.185, p=0.025), cigarette smokers were more likely to be obese compared to their counterparts (27.28±6.85 vs. 24.10±4.98, p=0.018). No significant statistical relationship was evident between BMI, breakfast skipping, fast food, fruit and vegetable intake, and time spent on social media.  
Conclusion: BMI was higher among smokers and those with shorter sleep duration, there was no association between BMI and other students’ characteristics. Measures to smoking quitting and good sleep hygiene are recommended.


Keywords: Obesity, Sleep duration, Social media, Dietary habits, Medical students


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