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Impact of Demographics, Education, and Stress on Body Mass Index Among Jordanian University Students

Amr, Rula A. PhD; Al-Smadi, Ahmed M. PhD; Akasheh, Rand T. PhD; Dababneh, Basem F. PhD; Qatatsheh, Alaa A. PhD; Mayyas, Amal H. PhD; Hamad, Islam M. PhD

doi: 10.1097/TIN.0000000000000181
Nutrition Research Projects

Obesity prevalence increased dramatically and impacted negatively on developing chronic diseases. The main objective of this study is to examine the association between body mass index (BMI) and demographic factors, stress, dietary intakes, and physical activity levels among Jordanian university students. A convenience sample was chosen from 3 universities. Data were analyzed based on questionnaires about BMI, dietary intakes, and demographics. The χ2 and Kruskal-Wallis tests were used to examine the association between BMI and the studied variables. The results showed that 20.6% of participants were overweight and 8.4% were obese. The results indicate a significant association between BMI and students' gender, nationality, and age; males compared with females and Jordanian participants compared with non-Jordanian students had significantly higher obesity. There was a significant association between stress, general health, and BMI. The results indicate that students who had normal weight perceived their health more as excellent and had less stress compared with students who were overweight or obese. This study indicates a relatively high prevalence of obesity among university students, especially males, Jordanians, and participants who felt stressed.

Departments of Human Nutrition and Dietetics (Drs Amr, Akasheh, and Dababneh), Medical Laboratories (Dr Al-Smadi), and Pharmacy (Drs Mayyas and Hamad), American University of Madaba, Jordan; and Department of Nursing, Princess Aisha Bint Al-Hussein Faculty of Nursing, Al-Hussein Bin Talal University, Ma'an, Jordan, and Department of Clinical Nutrition, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, Qassim University, Arrass, Saudi Arabia (Dr Qatatsheh).

Correspondence: Rula A. Amr, PhD, Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Faculty of Health Sciences, American University of Madaba, Madaba, Jordan (

The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

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