Eating habits, physical activity, and sedentary behaviors of Jordanian adolescents' residents of Amman

Type Journal Article - Mediterranean Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism
Title Eating habits, physical activity, and sedentary behaviors of Jordanian adolescents' residents of Amman
Volume 7
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2014
Page numbers 67-74
The aims of this study were to examine the prevalence of overweight and obesity among Jordanian adolescents and
to assess their lifestyle patterns including eating habits, physical activity and sedentary behaviours. The study was carried out as
part of the Arab Teens Lifestyle Study. The sample consisted of 735 high school students aged 14–20 years (52.5% males and
47.5% females). Students were randomly selected from the city of Amman, Jordan, using a multi-stage stratified cluster sampling
technique. Participants completed a self-administered questionnaire. Dietary habits (breakfast consumption, intakes of vegetables,
fruit, milk and milk products, sugar-sweetened drinks, fast food, sweets and energy drinks), physical activity and screen time were
assessed. Students’ body weight and height were measured. The prevalence of overweight was 16.1% and 12.6% among males
and females, respectively. Obesity prevalence was higher among males (9.6%) than females (4.3%). There were significant age
and gender effects for some of the selected eating habits, physical activity, and sedentary behaviors. Less than one third of the
adolescents ate breakfast, vegetables, fruits, and drink milk daily. Consumption of unhealthy foods was high. About 95% of the
adolescents spent more than 2 hours in screen time. In addition, more males than females met the recommended amount of daily
physical activity.
In conclusion, a considerable proportion of Jordanian adolescents have undesirable lifestyle habits. Such behaviors increase
adolescents’ risks for chronic non-communicable diseases later in life. The findings have important implications for health
promotion and disease prevention programs directed towards adolescent population

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