Factors associated with obesity among Palestinian university students in west bank
Obesity among university students
Objective: This aims to explore the prevalence of obesity and overweight among Palestinian students in universities, and their relationship with sociodemographic factors, dietary habits, psychosocial factors, and physical activity level.
Methods: A total sample of 1243 students, 772 (62.1%) females and 471 (37.9%) males, were included in the final analysis. The nutritional status was assessed using anthropometric measurements and dietary habits. Weight status was defined according to BMI WHO cut off points. Anxiety, stress, and depression were assessed using Arabic version of the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales. A short form of the Arabic version of IPAQ questionnaire was used to assess physical activity level.
Results: The results revealed that obesity prevalence was 3.3% and overweight was 16.10% among the students. Obesity was significantly more common among males, and those who are studying scientific specialization. Weigh status was significantly related to anxiety (p<0.05). Among the psychosocial factors, students with normal weight had significantly higher anxiety scores than obese or overweight students (p<0.05). Obesity and overweight were significantly associated with lower self-satisfaction (P<0.05).
Conclusion: The prevalence of obesity and overweight was low among the study sample. In spite of this, there is a need to promote intervention educational programs to improve their lifestyle in terms of physical activity and dietary habits.