Overweight and obesity are major public health problems and the most common nutri-tional disorders. The prevalence of overweight and obesity is rising at an alarming rate in both developing and developed countries. This study aimed to assess the prevalence of overweight and obesity and their associations with dietary habits among students from a major university in Palestine. A cross-sectional study was conducted on 304 Students (50% males and 50% females). Students were asked to fill in a standard questionnaire. Weight, height, and waist circumference were measured and hemoglobin level was tested. Statistical analysis was con-ducted using SPSS version 15.0. The prevalence rates of overweight and obesity among stu-dents were 20.1% and 4.6%, respectively, (P< 0.05). Overweight and obesity were more common among males compared to females (27.0% and 5.9% vs. 13.2% and 3.3%, respec-tively), (P< 0.05). The prevalence of abdominal obesity among students was 17.8% and was more common among females (23.0%) compared to males (12.5%), (P< 0.05). The preva-lence of anemia was 13.8%. Anemia was more common among females (18.4%) than males (9.2%), (P< 0.05). 5.3% of males were underweight compared to 4.6% of female, (P< 0.05). 68.4% of students reported that they take meals irregularly and a significant difference was found between males and females in meal patterns, (P< 0.05). Also, there were significant differences between males and females in physical activity (69.1% of males and 55.9% of females practiced sports), and smoking (51.3% of males and 91.4% of females never smoked, while 48.7% of males and 8.6% of females were current smokers), (P< 0.05). Uni-versity students would benefit from nutritional and health promotion programs to reduce the tendency of overweight and obesity. Educational programs are needed to encourage the con-sumption of fruits and vegetables to improve students' eating habits.
Abu Shanab, Bassam and Al-Sabbah, Haleama
"Prevalence of overweight and obesity and their associations with dietary habits among students from a major university in Palestine: A cross-sectional study,"
Palestinian Medical and Pharmaceutical Journal: Vol. 5:
1, Article 1.
Available at: https://pmpj.najah.edu/journal/vol5/iss1/1