American Journal of Applied Sciences

Prevalence of Obesity, Overweight and Underweight among Elementary School Children in Southern Iran, 2009

Elham Ahmadi, Ali Rikhtegaran Tehrani, Akbar Ahmadi, Elham Ahmadi, Ali R. Tehrani and Akbar Ahmadi

DOI : 10.3844/ajassp.2010.1439.1442

American Journal of Applied Sciences

Volume 7, Issue 11

Pages 1439-1442

Abstract

Problem statement: In recent years obesity has become epidemic in children and adolescents and was one of the main problems in developed and developing countries. Considering the importance of obesity complications for the health state of society and its increasing rate, careful evaluation, monitoring and follow up of obesity in children and adolescents was of a great importance. The aim of the present study was to determine the prevalence of obesity, overweight and underweight in elementary schoolchildren in Kerman, Iran. Approach: This cross-sectional study was performed on 1566 elementary schoolchildren aged 7-11 years in Kerman/Iran in 2009. A questionnaire consisted of age, sex, type of school, parents' educational level, family size, weight and height was filled out for each student. Weight and height were measured by standard methods. Obesity, overweight and underweight based on Body Mass Index (BMI) were determined for age and sex and in comparison to standard percentiles of World Health Organization (WHO). Results: The prevalence of obesity, overweight and underweight was 9.7, 4.4 and 0.57% respectively. There was no significant relationship between BMI and gender. There was an increasing rate of obesity and overweight risk in children of parents with higher educational levels and the prevalence of underweight was higher in the students of public schools. No significant relationship was found between BMI and family size. Conclusion: Based on the results, although obesity was still relatively uncommon in 7-11 year old urban students, the more important problem was the increasing rate of obesity and overweight prevalence. Establishing interventional measures in order to prevent risky behaviors leading to obesity and overweight seems to be highly necessary.

Copyright

© 2010 Elham Ahmadi, Ali Rikhtegaran Tehrani, Akbar Ahmadi, Elham Ahmadi, Ali R. Tehrani and Akbar Ahmadi. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.