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Journal of Environmental and Public Health
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 2879075, 13 pages
Research Article

Exploration of the Risk Factors of Generalized and Central Obesity among Adolescents in North Lebanon

1Nutrition & Dietetics Department, Faculty of Health Sciences, Beirut Arab University, Tripoli 1301, Lebanon
2Faculty of Public Health, Lebanese University, Tripoli 1301, Lebanon

Correspondence should be addressed to Germine El-Kassas

Received 8 April 2017; Revised 19 July 2017; Accepted 9 August 2017; Published 11 September 2017

Academic Editor: Pauline E. Jolly

Copyright © 2017 Germine El-Kassas and Fouad Ziade. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Adolescents’ obesity is an emerging public health problem globally and in the Arab countries. Alarming rates of overweight/obesity have been rising progressively in Lebanon. However, the risk factors for the development of adolescents’ obesity have not yet been thoroughly explored in North Lebanon. To determine the dietary and lifestyle risk factors associated with generalized and central obesity among adolescents living in Tripoli, a cross-sectional survey was conducted including a representative sample of 311 students aged 11–16 years from both sexes chosen from public and private schools in Tripoli. Data were collected using a standardized questionnaire to determine sociodemographic characteristics, dietary patterns, and physical activity and sedentary behaviors. Body mass index (BMI) was evaluated using the Center for Disease Control BMI for age percentiles. Central obesity was assessed using both waist-to-height ratio and gender-specific waist circumference for age indices. Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that skipping breakfast and physical inactivity were the most significant independent risk factors associated with both generalized and central obesity. In addition, higher screen time and male gender were associated with increased risk for generalized and central obesity, respectively. Intervention strategies to prevent the development of obesity should be implemented among adolescent students to encourage regular breakfast intake and adopting healthy dietary and lifestyle behaviors.