Objective: To seek agreement from key stakeholders on the main issues, considerations and key questions that need to be addressed when developing evidence based guidelines for nutritional management of obesity in Saudi Arabia.
Methods: Forty six health professionals (including, dietitians, physicians, academics and government representatives) participated in an invited workshop held in Riyadh in June 2007. Participants were divided into groups to discuss five topics: priority areas to include in a critical literature review, best formats for presentation of guidelines, particular local issues to consider, information to be included in appendices, and methods to encourage the adoption and use of the guidelines. A questionnaire was also distributed to participants and they were asked to rank their level of agreement about issues related to the process of guideline development.
Results: Participants agreed that Saudi clinical practice guidelines are necessary for dietitians and other health professionals to guide effective nutritional management of obesity. They also agreed about the most important key questions that need to be addressed in the guidelines. In contrast, there was no general agreement about the best formats of the guidelines and this may be due to the limited use of the guidelines for daily practices. Participants also discussed other topics and their views are summarized
Conclusion: The development of specific clinical practice guidelines for nutritional management of obesity in Saudi Arabia is warranted and will be valued by Saudi dietitians and other health professionals.