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Kamel Ajlouni 1 Article
An alarmingly high and increasing prevalence of obesity in Jordan
Kamel Ajlouni, Yousef Khader, Anwar Batieha, Hashem Jaddou, Mohammed El-Khateeb
Epidemiol Health. 2020;42:e2020040.   Published online June 6, 2020
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AbstractAbstract PDF
The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of obesity in Jordan, to assess related trends, and to determine associated factors and comorbidities.
A multipurpose national household survey of Jordanian adults was conducted over a 4-month period in 2017. Data were collected using a structured validated questionnaire. Anthropometric measurements including waist circumference (WC; measured midway between the iliac crest and the lower rib margin), body mass index (BMI), hip circumference, waist-to-hip ratio, and waist-to-height ratio were obtained to categorize participants with regard to overweight and obesity.
This study included 4,056 persons (1,193 men and 2,863 women) aged 18 years to 90 years (mean±standard deviation, 43.8±14.2 years). According to the International Diabetes Federation WC criteria, the age-standardized prevalence of obesity was 60.4% among men and 75.6% among women, while approximately three-quarters of men and women were overweight or obese as defined by BMI. The age-adjusted odds of obesity in 2017 were approximately twice those in 2009 in men (odds ratio [OR], 1.98) and women (OR, 1.96). In the multivariate analysis, age, region of residence, and marital status were significantly associated with obesity in both genders. Obesity was significantly associated with increased odds of diabetes mellitus, hypertension, elevated triglycerides, and low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol after adjusting for age.
The rate of obesity in Jordan is high and increasing, and obesity is associated with other metabolic abnormalities. Well-defined programs to control and prevent obesity, as well as intersectoral action, are urgently required to reverse current trends.


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