Prevalence and Trend of Overweight and Obesity among Schoolchildren in Ahvaz, Southwest of Iran

  •  Hamed Tabesh    
  •  Sayyed Mahdi Hosseiny    
  •  Farshid Kompani    
  •  Azadeh Saki    
  •  Maliheh Firoozabadi    
  •  Roghayeh Chenary    
  •  Mahta Mehrabian Fard    


Introduction: Obesity is an important risk factor for some chronic diseases. Since the effect of obesity is long-standing, monitoring childhood obesity should be the first step in the health policy for interventions regarding early prevention of chronic diseases. In this study we aim to determine the prevalence of overweight and obesity among school children in the city of Ahvaz.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey was designed. A sample of 5811 children, 2904 (49.97%) boys and 2907 (50.03%) girls, was selected and their heights and weights were measured in 2012-2013 academic year. Measurements of height and weight were made by using calibrated equipment and according to standardized protocol with the children having light clothes and without wearing shoes. The adjusted odds ratio of obesity and overweight for age and sex were calculated from multiple logistic regression model.

Results: A total 685 (23.6%) of boys and 561 (19.3%) of girls were overweight. and 190(6.05%) of boys and 130 (4.5%) of girls were obese. The proportion of overweight and obese boys was significantly higher than that of girls (p<0.001). Logistic regression showed significant increase in the likelihood of being overweight with the increasing age OR=1.50, C.I.95%: (1.43, 1.57).

Conclusion: The prevalence of overweight and obesity increased markedly with age. This shows the importance of early prevention by doing interventions and training since the first year of primary school.

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