Prevalence of Obesity among Jordanian School-aged Adolescents in Greater Amman

Hani J. Hamad, Diana Theeb Abu-Hassouneh, Mohammed O. Ibrahim, “Mo’ez Al-Islam” E. Faris


The objective of this study was to estimate the prevalence of obesity among Jordanian school female adolescents in greater Amman.  A representative random sample of 501 female adolescents school children, 10 to 17 years of age was recruited from 3 schools from greater Amman. The anthropometric data for adolescents (10-17 years old) were entered and compared to the growth reference curves/charts developed in 2006/2007 by the World Health Organization (WHO) using WHO 2009 AnthroPlus software. After sorting and cleaning of the data, descriptive analysis was conducted to obtain prevalence of obesity, overweight, and thinness. Malnourished children were defined as those with overweight, obese, or thinness. The overall average prevalences of thinness, normal weight, overweight, and obesity were 7.2% , 46.8%, 36.2% and 9.9 %, respectively. Among the thinness category (WAZ <-2 SD)  , the highest percentage (16.7%)  is for 16-17 age group followed by 14-15 age group (6.7%) while it is 5.3% in 10-11 age group. An overall prevalence of malnutrition characterized by overweight and obesity together among all age groups is 46.1%.  As a conclusion, the study showed that more than half (53.3%) of Jordanian school adolescents in greater Amman are malnourished, with a prevalence of overweight, obesity and thinness at the same time, requiring different strategies to control either type. Further research about the dietary habits and lifestyle behaviors of Jordanian adolescents is recommended.

Keywords: Prevalence, Obesity, School-aged children, Adolescents, Greater Amman, Jordan

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