The Effect of Ramadan Fasting on Body Composition of Overweight and Obese Male Staff in Hazm Mebaireek General Hospital, State of Qatar

Jadulluh Al-ghazo, Reem Al-Saadi Noora Aljaffali, Anwar Qudaisat Reynald Manlungat, Prem Chandra


Background:  Fasting during the holy month of Ramadan causes Muslims to change their lifestyle as well as food habits. Muslims who observe fasting consume 2 meals per day, Iftar at sunset which is a relatively big meal, and Sohor before dawn. The aim of this study is to investigate the effects of Ramadan fasting on body weight and body composition. Method: The body weight and composition were measured and analyzed 4 days prior to the month of Ramadan (prefasting) and 4 days before the completion of Ramadan (fasting). Height was measured by using a weighing scale, the waist circumference was measured with a non-stretchable tape, whereas body weight, body mass index (BMI), basal metabolic rate (BMR), biological age, and body composition parameter (water, fat percentage, fat-free mass, and muscle mass) was estimated by using body composition analyzer based on bio-electrical impedance. Result: 107 subjects were involved in this study, the comparison between the prefasting and fasting measurements shows that body weight (89.112 ± 14.7651) vs (87.033 ± 14.5363) kg, BMI (29.453 ± 3.8516) vs (28.759 ± 3.8289) kg/m2, waist circumference (101.338 ± 9.6535) vs (97.869 ± 9.4920) cm P<0.05) was significantly decreased, while the body fat percentage  (27.771 ± 4.6771) vs (27.021 ± 4.8103), fat mass (25.290 ± 8.6062) vs (24.035 ± 8.4310)kg, muscle mass (60.731 ± 7.4130) vs (59.916 ± 7.3193) illustrated a significant decrease, however fat-free mass decrease insignificantly (63.527  ± 7.5559) vs (63.022 ± 7.6758) kg. Additionally, metabolic age (50.308 ± 8.4143) vs (49.290 ± 8.7997) years, basal metabolic rate (1897.935 ± 247.8362) vs (1872.140 ± 253.8423) kcal showed significant decrease, more so, total body water was significantly increase (52.798 SD 3.3674) vs (53.215 SD 3.4511) kg. Conclusion: According to the result, Ramadan fasting provides an opportunity to lose weight among overweight and obese individuals. Further studies are required to investigate whether these changes can be a result of the restriction in meal frequencies, and total energy intake or if it is related to other factors.

Keywords: Ramadan fasting, body composition, biological age, bio-electrical impedance.

DOI: 10.7176/JHMN/105-08

Publication date: January 31st 2023

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