Growth Disorders Among 6-Year-Old Iranian Children

Kelishadi, Roya; Amiri, Masoud; Motlagh, Mohammad Esmaeil; Taslimi, Mahnaz; Ardalan, Gelayol; Rouzbahani, Reza; Poursafa, Parinaz
June 2014
Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal;Jun2014, Vol. 16 Issue 6, p1
Academic Journal
Background: Sociodemographic factors are important determinants of weight disorders. National representative studies provide a view on this health problem at national and regional levels. Objectives: This study aimed to assess the distribution of growth disorders in terms of body mass index (BMI) and height in 6-year-old Iranian children using geographical information system (GIS). Materials and Methods: In this cross-sectional nationwide survey, all Iranian children entering public and private elementary schools were examined in a mandatory national screening program in 2009. Descriptive analysis was used to calculate the prevalence of underweight, overweight, obesity, and short stature. Then, ArcGIS software was used to draw the figures. Results: The study population consisted of 955388 children (48.5% girls and 76.5% urban). Overall, 20% of children were underweight, and 14.3% had high BMI, consisted of 10.9% overweight and 3.4% obese. The corresponding figure for short stature was 6.6%; however, these growth disorders were not equally distributed across various provinces. Conclusions: Our results confirmed unequal distribution of BMI and height of 6-year-old children in Iran generally and in most of its provinces particularly. The differences among provinces cannot be fully explained by the socioeconomic pattern. These findings necessitate a comprehensive national policy with provincial evidence-based programs.


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