• Overview
  • Obesity prevalence
  • Trends over time
  • Population breakdowns
  • Drivers
  • Comorbidities
  • Health systems
  • Actions
Loading data – please wait …

Obesity prevalence

Women, 2017-2018

Survey type:Measured
Age:15-49
Sample size:10,787
Area covered:National
References:DHS Jordan 2017/18. Available from: https://dhsprogram.com/publications/publication-FR346-DHS-Final-Reports.cfm [Accessed 27 March 2019].
Notes:Demographic Health Survey data includes ever married women aged 15-49 years only and may include males aged 15-59.
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Women, 2012

Survey type:Measured
Age:15-49
Sample size:10312
Area covered:National
References:DHS Jordan 2012
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Women, 2009

Survey type:Measured
Age:15-49
Sample size:6666
Area covered:National
References:Demgraphic Health & Family Survey 2009
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Women, 2007

Survey type:Measured
Age:15-49
Sample size:7759
Area covered:National
References:Jordan Population and Family Health Survey 2007
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Men, 2007

Survey type:Measured
Age:18+
Sample size:1939
Area covered:National
References:Jordan STEPS Survey 2007
Notes:Small sample size
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Women, 2002

Survey type:Measured
Age:15-49
Sample size:7681
References:WHO Infobase, Macro international data
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Adults, 1994-1996

Survey type:Measured
Age:25+
Sample size:2836
Area covered:Subnational
References:Ajlouni K, Jaddou H and Batieha A. (1998). Obesity in Jordan. International Journal of Obesity, 22: 624 - 628.
Notes:Data available for obese only.
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Children, 2015-2016

Survey type:Measured
Age:6-17
Sample size:2702
Area covered:National
References:Zayed, A.A, Beano, A.M, Haddadin, F.I, Radwan, S.S, Allauzy, S.A, Alkhayyat, M.M, Al-Dahabrah, Z.A, Al-Hasan, Y.G, and Yousef, A.F. 2016. Prevalence of short stature, underweight, overweight, and obesity among school children in Jordan. BMC Public Health. 16:1040. DOI 10.1186/s12889-016-3687-4.
Notes:85th and 95th centile cut-offs used, Note: Data for 15-18 year-olds available: Musaiger et al. 2016. Prevalence of overweight and obesity among adolescents in eight Arab countries: comparison between two international standards (ARABEAT-2). Nutrición Hospitalaria. 33(5). pp.1062-1065 NB. Combined child data estimated. These estimates were calculated by weighting male and female survey results. Weighting based on World Bank Population % total female 2019 (https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.POP.TOTL.FE.ZS - accessed 21.10.20)'
Cutoffs:WHO

Children, 2010-2011

Survey type:Measured
Age:15-18
Sample size:937
Area covered:Regional (Amman)
References:Musaiger AO, Al-Mannai M, Tayyem R, Al-Lalla O, Ali EY, Kalam F, Benhamed MM, Saghir S, Halahleh I, Djoudi Z, Chirane M.Prevalence of Overweight and Obesity among Adolescents in Seven Arab Countries: A Cross-Cultural Study. J Obes. 2012;2012:981390. doi: 10.1155/2012/981390. Epub 2012 Sep 18.
Notes:IOTF International Reference
Cutoffs:IOTF

Overweight/obesity by education

Women, 2017-2018

Survey type:Measured
Age:15-49
Sample size:10,787
Area covered:National
References:DHS Jordan 2017/18. Available from: https://dhsprogram.com/publications/publication-FR346-DHS-Final-Reports.cfm [Accessed 27 March 2019].
Notes:Demographic Health Survey data includes ever married women aged 15-49 years only and may include males aged 15-59.
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Women, 2012

Survey type:Measured
Age:15-49
Sample size:11123
Area covered:National
References:Jordan Population and Family Health Survey 2012
Notes:Demographic Health Survey data includes ever married women aged 15-49 years only and may include males aged 15-59.
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Overweight/obesity by age

Women, 2017-2018

Survey type:Measured
Sample size:10,787
Area covered:National
References:DHS Jordan 2017/18. Available from: https://dhsprogram.com/publications/publication-FR346-DHS-Final-Reports.cfm [Accessed 27 March 2019].
Notes:Demographic Health Survey data includes ever married women aged 15-49 years only and may include males aged 15-59.
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Overweight/obesity by region

Women, 2017-2018

Survey type:Measured
Age:15-49
Sample size:10,787
Area covered:National
References:DHS Jordan 2017/18. Available from: https://dhsprogram.com/publications/publication-FR346-DHS-Final-Reports.cfm [Accessed 27 March 2019].
Notes:Demographic Health Survey data includes ever married women aged 15-49 years only and may include males aged 15-59.
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Women, 2012

Survey type:Measured
Age:15-49
Sample size:11123
Area covered:National
References:Jordan Population and Family Health Survey 2012
Notes:Demographic Health Survey data includes ever married women aged 15-49 years only and may include males aged 15-59.
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Children, 2007

Survey type:Measured
Age:13-16
Sample size:1355
Area covered:Irbid (North West Jordan)
References:Abu Baker NN, Daradkeh SM. Prevalence of overweight and obesity among adolescents in Irbid governorate, Jordan. Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal (EMHJ) 2010: Vol. 16, No. 6.
Notes:Overweight and obesity were categorized according to age–sex specific percentiles of BMI using the Centers for Disease Control BMI-forage growth charts [7]: underweight (BMI < 5th percentile); normal weight (BMI 5th–< 85th percentile), overweight (BMI 85th–< 95th percentile) or obesity(BMI ≥ 95th percentile). Low income ≤ 200 Jordanian dinars (JD) per month; medium income 201–600 JD per month; high income ≥ 600 JD per month.
Cutoffs:CDC

Overweight/obesity by socio-economic group

Women, 2017-2018

Survey type:Measured
Age:15-49
Sample size:10,787
Area covered:National
References:DHS Jordan 2017/18. Available from: https://dhsprogram.com/publications/publication-FR346-DHS-Final-Reports.cfm [Accessed 27 March 2019].
Notes:Demographic Health Survey data includes ever married women aged 15-49 years only and may include males aged 15-59.
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Women, 2012

Survey type:Measured
Age:15-49
Sample size:11123
Area covered:National
References:Jordan Population and Family Health Survey 2012
Notes:Prevalence of overweight and obesity based on wealth quintile Demographic Health Survey data includes ever married women aged 15-49 years only and may include males aged 15-59.
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Children, 2007

Survey type:Measured
Age:13-16
Sample size:1355
Area covered:Irbid (North West Jordan)
References:Abu Baker NN, Daradkeh SM. Prevalence of overweight and obesity among adolescents in Irbid governorate, Jordan. Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal (EMHJ) 2010: Vol. 16, No. 6.
Notes:Overweight and obesity were categorized according to age–sex specific percentiles of BMI using the Centers for Disease Control BMI-forage growth charts [7]: underweight (BMI < 5th percentile); normal weight (BMI 5th–< 85th percentile), overweight (BMI 85th–< 95th percentile) or obesity(BMI ≥ 95th percentile). Low income ≤ 200 Jordanian dinars (JD) per month; medium income 201–600 JD per month; high income ≥ 600 JD per month.
Cutoffs:CDC

Insufficient physical activity

Adults, 2016

References:Guthold R, Stevens GA, Riley LM, Bull FC. Worldwide trends in insufficient physical activity from 2001 to 2016: a pooled analysis of 358 population-based surveys with 1.9 million participants. Lancet 2018 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(18)30357-7

Men, 2016

References:Guthold R, Stevens GA, Riley LM, Bull FC. Worldwide trends in insufficient physical activity from 2001 to 2016: a pooled analysis of 358 population-based surveys with 1.9 million participants. Lancet 2018 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(18)30357-7

Women, 2016

References:Guthold R, Stevens GA, Riley LM, Bull FC. Worldwide trends in insufficient physical activity from 2001 to 2016: a pooled analysis of 358 population-based surveys with 1.9 million participants. Lancet 2018 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(18)30357-7

Children, 2010

Age:11-17
References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A893?lang=en
Notes:% of school going adolescents not meeting WHO recommendations on Physical Activity for Health, i.e. doing less than 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity daily.
Definitions:% Adolescents insufficiently active (age standardised estimate)

Boys, 2010

Age:11-17
References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A893?lang=en
Notes:% of school going adolescents not meeting WHO recommendations on Physical Activity for Health, i.e. doing less than 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity daily.
Definitions:% Adolescents insufficiently active (age standardised estimate)

Girls, 2010

Age:11-17
References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A893?lang=en
Notes:% of school going adolescents not meeting WHO recommendations on Physical Activity for Health, i.e. doing less than 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity daily.
Definitions:% Adolescents insufficiently active (age standardised estimate)

Estimated per-capita fruit intake

Adults, 2017

Survey type:Measured
Age:25+
References:Global Burden of Disease, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation http://ghdx.healthdata.org/
Definitions:Estimated per-capita fruit intake (g/day)

Estimated per-capita processed meat intake

Adults, 2017

Survey type:Measured
Age:25+
References:Global Burden of Disease, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation http://ghdx.healthdata.org/
Definitions:Estimated per-capita processed meat intake (g per day)

Estimated per-capita whole grains intake

Adults, 2017

Survey type:Measured
Age:25+
References:Global Burden of Disease, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation http://ghdx.healthdata.org/
Definitions:Estimated per-capita whole grains intake (g/day)

Mental health - depression disorders

Adults, 2015

References:Prevalence data from Global Burden of Disease study 2015 (http://ghdx.healthdata.org) published in: Depression and Other Common Mental Disorders: Global Health Estimates. Geneva:World Health Organization; 2017. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.
Definitions:% of population with depression disorders

Mental health - anxiety disorders

Adults, 2015

References:Prevalence data from Global Burden of Disease study 2015 (http://ghdx.healthdata.org) published in: Depression and Other Common Mental Disorders: Global Health Estimates. Geneva:World Health Organization; 2017. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.
Definitions:% of population with anxiety disorders

Oesophageal cancer

Men, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, oesophagus, adults ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Women, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, oesophagus, adults ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Breast cancer

Women, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, breast, females, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Colorectal cancer

Men, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, colorectum, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Women, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, colorectum, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Pancreatic cancer

Men, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, pancreas, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Women, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, pancreas, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Gallbladder cancer

Men, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, gallbladder, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Women, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, gallbladder, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Kidney cancer

Men, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, kidney, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Women, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, kidney, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Cancer of the uterus

Women, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, cervix uteri, females, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Raised blood pressure

Adults, 2015

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A875?lang=en
Definitions:Age Standardised estimated % Raised blood pressure 2015 (SBP>=140 OR DBP>=90).

Men, 2015

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A875?lang=en
Definitions:Age Standardised estimated % Raised blood pressure 2015 (SBP>=140 OR DBP>=90).

Women, 2015

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A875?lang=en
Definitions:Age Standardised estimated % Raised blood pressure 2015 (SBP>=140 OR DBP>=90).

Raised cholesterol

Adults, 2008

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A885
Definitions:% Raised total cholesterol (>= 5.0 mmol/L) (age-standardized estimate).

Men, 2008

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A885
Definitions:% Raised total cholesterol (>= 5.0 mmol/L) (age-standardized estimate).

Women, 2008

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A885
Definitions:% Raised total cholesterol (>= 5.0 mmol/L) (age-standardized estimate).

Raised fasting blood glucose

Men, 2014

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A869?lang=en
Definitions:Age Standardised % raised fasting blood glucose (>= 7.0 mmol/L or on medication).

Women, 2014

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A869?lang=en
Definitions:Age Standardised % raised fasting blood glucose (>= 7.0 mmol/L or on medication).

Diabetes prevalence

Adults, 2017

References:Reproduced with kind permission of IDF, International Diabetes Federation. IDF Diabetes Atlas, 8th edition. Brussels, Belgium: International Diabetes Federation, 2017. http://www.diabetesatlas.org
Definitions:Diabetes age-adjusted comparative prevalence (%).

Health systems

Economic classification: Upper Middle Income

Health systems summary

Jordan has a mixed healthcare system, made up of a public sector, private sector and an international/charity sector. The health system has been renowned for delivering high-quality care and as a result has been a major health tourism destination in the Middle Eastern region.

Care in the public sector is delivered by the Ministry of Health and the Royal Medical Services. Groups eligible for free insurance in the public sector include those aged 60 and over and 6 and under and those considered impoverished by the Ministry of Social Development. The private sector consists of hospitals and various clinics, but it is considered to be fragmented. A recent census estimated that 70% and 55% of Jordanians and the overall population respectively had health insurance, with 80% of Jordanians having public insurance as opposed to private. There are calls for health insurance to be made mandatory to improve coverage. Out-of-pocket expenditure was estimated to be 28.8% of total health expenditure in 2013.

Jordan’s health system has been challenged by the geopolitical crises in neighbouring Syria and Palestine. Large numbers of refugees have stretched services and has exacerbated the impact of an ageing population and the rise in non-communicable diseases. Several humanitarian agencies support healthcare delivery to many of the displaced people.

Indicators

Where is the country’s government in the journey towards defining ‘Obesity as a disease’?Some progress
Where is the country’s healthcare provider in the journey towards defining ‘Obesity as a disease’?No
Is there specialist training available dedicated to the training of health professionals to prevent, diagnose, treat and manage obesity?No
Have any taxes or subsidies been put in place to protect/assist/inform the population around obesity?No
Are there adequate numbers of trained health professionals in specialties relevant to obesity in urban areas?Some progress
Are there adequate numbers of trained health professionals in specialties relevant to obesity in rural areas?No
Are there any obesity-specific recommendations or guidelines published for adults?Yes
Are there any obesity-specific recommendations or guidelines published for children?Yes
In practice, how is obesity treatment largely funded?Out of pocket

Perceived barriers to treatment

  • Lack of political will, interest and action
  • High cost of out of pocket payments
  • Lack of (or failure to follow) treatment guidelines or pathway
  • Stigma
  • Poor health literacy & behaviour
  • Obesity considered aesthetic issue and/or a sign of wealth
  • Lack of evidence, monitoring and research

Summary of stakeholder feedback

It is reported that while obesity is accepted as a major health issue in Jordan, it is not yet recognised or treated as a disease by the government or health professionals. Specifically, it was noted that insufficient efforts are being made in prevention, treatment and research.

Stakeholders reported that treatment is rarely covered by insurance (there appears to be exceptions for bariatric surgery at a high BMI), and so in practice, obesity treatment in Jordan is mostly paid for out of pocket. This reflects the overall poor financial investment into obesity. Due to the long waiting lists for surgery in the public sector, it is reported that it is commonplace for people to seek treatment privately where there are no waiting lists. Bariatric surgery in the private sector however has been criticised for not using multidisciplinary approaches and for not having clear pathways up to surgery. Unlike other Middle Eastern countries, it appears that that the Jordanian population are hesitant to have bariatric surgery - one stakeholder reported that his patients refrain for attending support groups because they are reluctant to admit that they had surgery and would prefer to attribute weight loss to personal efforts.

The Jordanian Society for Obesity Surgery published bariatric surgery guidelines in 2018 for adults and children. These appear to be the only guidelines that exist in Jordan. Stakeholders reported there to be no obesity-specific training, except a sole fellowship available for bariatric surgery.

Based on interviews/survey returns from 4 stakeholders

Last updated: June 2020

Download this information as a PDF

Actions

The national strategy and plan of action against diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia and obesity in Jordan

The purpose of this document is to adapt the global guidance on NCDs to the prevailing cultural, social, and economic specificities of Jordan.

Categories:Evidence of National Obesity Strategy/Policy or Action
Year(s):2015 (ongoing)
Target age group:Adults and children
Organisation:Government
Linked document:Download linked document

12-week school-based weight loss educational intervention

A randomised controlled trial involving an intervention group and a control group. Intervention involved a 12?week educational programme focusing on diet and exercise (including counselling). Following this weight loss any weight loss achieved was assessed.

Categories:Health Effectiveness Reviews (obesity related)
Year(s):2012 (ongoing)
Target age group:Children
Organisation:Salameh et al 2016
Find out more:www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Linked document:Download linked document
References:Salameh et al. 2016. Effectiveness of a 12?week school?based educational preventive programme on weight and fasting blood glucose in “at?risk” adolescents of type 2 diabetes mellitus: Randomized controlled trial. International Journal of Nursing practice. 23(3). doi: 10.1111/ijn.12528.

National commitment to action on social determinants of health in Jordan: Addressing obesity

This draft background paper is one of several in a series commissioned by the World Health Organization for the World Conference on Social Determinants of Health, held 19-21 October 2011, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The goal of these papers is to highlight country experiences on implementing action on social determinants of health.

Categories (partial):Non-national obesity strategies
Year(s):2011 (ongoing)
Target age group:Adults and children
Organisation:WHO
Linked document:Download linked document
References:http://www.who.int/sdhconference/resources/draft_background_paper18_jordan.pdf (last accessed 29 Feb 2016)

No actions could be found for the above criteria.

Loading