Prevalence of Obesity Among Thi-Qar University Students During the Year 2015- 2016


  • Ali Abid Saadoon AlGhuzi Assist professor- PhD.MSc. MBChB. Community medicine department, college of Medicine, Thi-Qar University, Iraq.
  • Dhiaa khalaf Al-aumary Assist professor –PhD. MBChB. Internal Medicine Department, College of Medicine, Thi-Qar University, Iraq.
  • Alaa Jassim Mohammod M.B.Ch.B. -Al-Sader Primary Health Care Center, Thi-Qar Health Office, Thi-Qar, Iraq


Prevalence, Obesity, Overweight, Cross sectional study, Dietary habit, Life style


Background: The prevalence of overweight and obesity is increasing in both developed and developing countries. Obesity is a major risk factors for many chronic diseases including diabetes, hypertension and ischemic heart disease, so it is considering a major Public health problem. Objectives: to study the prevalence of obesity and it is risk factors among Thi-Qar university students. Subjects and Method: A cross sectional study had been extended from 1st of April 2016 to10th of June 2016, a total of 841 students (358 of male and 456 of female) between 18 years and 36 years of age (mean 21.7 ± 2.3years) were selected randomly from 24 colleges of both Thi-Qar university and Mazzia college. Each participants subjected to a questionnaire that include: personal socio-demography, time of sleep per night, types of activity during leisure times, height, weight and waist circumference were measured and body mass index was calculated and used to asses’ weight status. The data was analyzed by using SPSS. p value less than 0.05 was considered as statistically significant. Result: The mean BMI was 24.17 ± 4.0; more than half (59.2%) of students were of normal weight ( 63.8% of male students and 55.2% of female  students ) ; whereas the prevalence of overweight and that of obesity among them  was 28.3% and 8.1% respectively. The prevalence of obesity was nearly similar between male and  female students, while the prevalence of overweight was more common among females students as compared to males (32% of females vs. 23.1% of males).The prevalence of underweight was more common among male than female students (5.1 % of male vs. 3.7 % of female ) . Depending on their waist circumferences 3% of male and 18 % of female students where at a higher risk of developing abdominal obesity co morbidities. There was significant higher prevalence of obesity and mean waist circumference with in students of more than 26 years old age and of less than 6 household family number (p < .05 for both variables). A relatively high proportion (42.7 % for male and 35.8 % for female) spend more than two hours on screen time daily. Females where significantly (p< .05) much less physically active than male. Conclusion: there was high prevalence of obesity among ThiQar university students and the study supports the multi factorial etiology of obesity; it demonstrated that age, parent’s education and household number are risk factors. The study also shows high prevalence of sedentary behaviors, physical inactivity among Thi-Qar university students. Recommendation: the study results mandate the need for a Public Health strategies to prevent overweight and obesity and adopt a healthy dietary habit and life style.


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