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Journal of Obesity
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 213547, 12 pages
Research Article

Overweight and Obesity among Palestinian Adults: Analyses of the Anthropometric Data from the First National Health and Nutrition Survey (1999-2000)

1Al-Quds Nutrition and Health Research Institute, Al-Quds University, Jerusalem 20760, Palestine
2Faculty of Medicine, Al-Quds University, P.O. Box 51000, Jerusalem, Palestine
3Department of Social Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Crete, P.O. Box 2208, 71003 Iraklion, Crete, Greece
4Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Centre, Tufts University, 711 Washington Street, Boston, MA 02111, USA
5Faculty of Medicine, An-Najah National University, P.O. Box 7, Nablus, West Bank, Palestine

Received 29 April 2011; Revised 25 October 2011; Accepted 10 November 2011

Academic Editor: Sandra G. Affenito

Copyright © 2012 Ziad Abdeen et al. 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.


Background. A cross-sectional survey was designed to provide a baseline data on the prevalence and distribution of overweight and obesity and their associations among adults in Palestine. Methods. A random representative sample of 3617 adults aged 18–64 years was collected between October 1999 and October 2000. Results. The prevalence of overweight was 35.5% in women and 40.3% in men, obesity was 31.5% in women and 17.5% in men. Adults aged 45–54 years old were significantly more likely to be obese (29.2% in men and 50.2% in women) or overweight (48.1% in men and 37.2% in women). When compared with women, men showed significantly more normal BMI level (40.5% versus 31.6%; P<0.05). Cut-off points for a high waist circumference and high waist-to-hip ratio identified 57.8% and 47.2% of the population, respectively, to be at an increased and high risk for cardiovascular disease. Sociodemographic factors (age, sex, educational level, and marital status) were also found to be significantly related to BMI. Conclusion. Obesity and overweight are enormous public health problems in Palestine. Population-based research at the national level to investigate the social and cultural factors associated with high prevalence of overweight and obesity among Palestinian adults should be implemented.