Objective: To estimate the prevalence of overweight and obesity among Jordanian children and adolescents and to determine their association with metabolic abnormalities.
Methods: In a national population-based household survey, a systematic sample of households was selected. All members aged ?7 years in the selected households were invited to participate in the study. Of the respondents, 1,034 subjects were 18 years old or younger. Anthropometric and biochemical measurements were obtained. Overweight and obesity were defined according to age and sex specific cut-off points of BMI defined by the International Obesity Task Force criteria proposed by Cole et al. The metabolic abnormalities were defined for subjects, based on their age, according to the definition of Cook et al. and International Diabetes Federation (IDF) criteria.
Results: The overall prevalence of overweight and obesity among children were 6.0% and 5.5%, respectively. Among adolescents, the overall prevalence rates of overweight and obesity were 13.7% and 10.0%, respectively. After adjusting for gender and age, overweight was significantly associated with increased odds of having high triglycerides (Odds ratio [OR] = 1.7), low HDL-cholesterol (OR = 1.9), and at least one metabolic abnormality (OR = 2.2). Obesity was significantly associated with increased odds of individual metabolic abnormalities and their clustering.
Conclusions: A relatively high proportion of Jordanian children and adolescents had overweight or obesity. Overweight and obesity in children and adolescents were associated with increased odds of metabolic abnormalities and their clustering. Programs addressing eating behavior and physical activity of children and adolescents to maintain a healthy weight are needed in Jordan.