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Keywords:

  • adolescents;
  • family factors;
  • Jordan;
  • obesity;
  • predictors

Manal Ibrahim A-K, Mousa Ali A-H, Erika Sivarajan F. International Journal of Nursing Practice 2010; 16: 397–405 Predictors of obesity in school-aged Jordanian adolescents

This cross-sectional study aimed to estimate the frequency of overweight and obesity in adolescents as defined by the International Obesity Task Force, and to estimate the effect of sociodemographic and health behaviours (eating habits and physical activity) that predict obesity. A stratified (by gender) random sample of 518 adolescents, aged 15 or 16 years was obtained from eight public schools in Amman. In this sample 17.5% were overweight and 9.6% were obese. The predictors of obesity and overweight (excess weight) were: (i) fathers attained primary and secondary education; (ii) total monthly family income ≥ 300 (JD); (iii) working mothers; (iv) family size ≤ 6; and (v) having obese parents. Eating a low quality diet (chips, candy) was a significant dietary predictor of excess weight. The family variables found to be important predictors along with a low quality diet suggest that family interventions would be necessary in the control of adolescent excess weight.