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Matern Child Health J. 2009 May;13(3):424-31. doi: 10.1007/s10995-008-0362-0. Epub 2008 May 22.

Overweight and obesity among school children in Jordan: prevalence and associated factors.

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Department of Community Medicine, Public Health and Family Medicine, Jordan University of Science & Technology, Irbid 22110, Jordan.



To estimate the prevalence of overweight and obesity and determine their associated factors among school children aged 6-12 years in the north of Jordan.


A cross-sectional study was conducted among school children in the north of Jordan in the period between March 2006 and May 2006. A total of 2,131 children (1,052 boys and 1,079 girls) were selected at random using multistage cluster sampling method. The first part of the questionnaire was completed by pupils in schools and the second part was completed by their parents at home. The researchers measured height, weight, waist circumference, hip circumference, and mid upper arm circumference of each student in the class. Overweight and obesity were defined according to the international cut-off points of body mass index for boys and girls between 2 and 18 years of age.


Of the total 2,131 children, 19.4% were overweight (18.8% of boys and 19.9% of girls) and 5.6% were obese (5.6% of boys and 5.5% of girls). Watching television >2 h/day, daily pocket money >20 piasters (1 piaster = 1.42 cents), having overweight or obese mother/father were significantly associated with increased odds of both overweight and obesity. Age > or = 10 years, female gender, and family size of < or =4 were significantly associated with being overweight and total monthly family income >300 Jordanian Dinars (JDs), (1 JD = $1.42) was associated with obesity.


While the prevalence of overweight was high among Jordanian children compared with that in the neighboring countries, the prevalence of obesity was lower.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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