Overweight and Obesity and Their Correlates Among Jordanian Adolescents


Dr. Shaher H. Hamaideh, The Hashemite University, Faculty of Nursing, P.O. Box 150459, Zarqa 13115, Jordan. E-mail: shaher29@hu.edu.jo


Purpose: To provide current estimates of the prevalence of overweight and obesity among Jordanian adolescents 14 to 17 years of age living in Irbid Governorate, and to determine the factors that are associated with overweight and obesity.

Design: Descriptive correlational cross-sectional design was used.

Methods: Body mass index, perceived stress, dietary habits, physical activity, and demographics of 824 Jordanian adolescents living in Irbid were measured through a multistage cluster sampling method.

Findings: The overall prevalence of overweight and obesity was 19.1% and 6.3%, respectively. The prevalence of overweight and obesity among boys was 17.2% and 5.7%, respectively, and among girls was 21.0% and 7.0%, respectively. Both overweight and obesity rates were higher among girls. Physical activity, mother's educational level, and number of family members were negatively correlated with overweight and obesity. On the other hand, eating breakfast regularly, mother's weight, consumption of fried food, and perceived stress level were positively correlated with overweight and obesity.

Conclusions: Overweight and obesity are becoming a health problem among both boys and girls in Jordan.

Clinical Relevance: Detecting the prevalence and the associated factors of overweight and obesity among adolescents is the first step toward proposing intervention strategies.