Healthy Lifestyles in Individuals and Community

Obesity is a major public health problem all over the world. It has an extra burden on medical students. Obesity is related to many lifestyle constructs as diet, physical exercise, sleep and smoking. Internet addiction is quite common among adolescents and young adults. Depression is one of the most common psychological disorders in this age group. Narcissism is underestimated especially among medical students and it could hamper their empathy towards their patients later on. Psychological capital is comprised of four capacities namely: hope, optimism, resilience, and self-efficacy.

The prevalence of overweight and obesity among the medical students of a Malaysian University was on the high, compared to the findings of earlier studies conducted in Malaysia. To succeed, medical students must withstand the stress of medical schools and their ability to cope with stress is important to their health and professional development. Stress disproportionately affects female medical students, and/ or members of stigmatized groups, including overweight/obese individuals who may then be more vulnerable to stress outcomes.

Many studies have explored the relationship between obesity, lifestyle factors as sleep disorders, and exercise. Hargens et al. examined the relationship between sleep disorders and obesity. In addition, they reviewed how sleep disorders may impact the exercise response. Research proved the association with certain mental disorders and obesity. Self-control could be an overlapping cognitive mechanism of depression and obesity. Narcissism has the strongest impact on the self-satisfaction with body. Besides the association of narcissism to obesity and/or to Internet addiction, the latter per se was proved to be related to obesity in previous research.

The current research project at the Faculty of Medicine will study obesity in medical students and its relationship to lifestyle, Internet addiction and some variables of psychology. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to evaluate these parameters together in a multivariate model in Lebanon, Ras Al Khaima and the Arab World. Results would definitely later help for further research to intervene on a larger scale than that of lifestyle modifications.