Prevalence of Overweight, Obesity and Central Obesity among Elementary School Children in Birjand, East of Iran, 2012

Fatemeh Taheri, Toba Kazemi, Tayebeh Chahkandi, Kokab Namakin, Mahmoud Zardast, Bita Bijari


Background: Prevalence of obesity in children has been increasing during recent decades all over the world. Obesity, particularly central obesity, is associated with metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular diseases. The present study aimed to assess obesity and central obesity in 6-11 year old Birjand elementary school children, East of Iran.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted on 1541 elementary school children, i.e. 851girls and 690 boys, selected from Birjand elementary schools through multiple-cluster sampling in 2012. In order to determine overweight and obesity the percentile of CDC was used, so that, 85-95th percentile were taken as overweight and >95th percentile was defined as obese with respect to age and sex. For determination of central obesity, waist circumference and the ≥90th percentile were used regarding age and sex. The obtained data was analyzed by means of SPSS software (V: 15) using t and chi-square statistical tests at the 0.05 significant level.

Results: Out of the studied children, 9.6% (11% of boys and 8.3% of girls) were overweight and 9.2% of children (i.e. 10.9% of boys and 7.9% of girls) were obese. About 15.7% of children (i.e. 20.3% of boys and 12% of girls) had central obesity.

Conclusions: Regarding high prevalence of obesity, central obesity, and overweight in Birjand elementary school children, it is recommended that families should be provided with necessary information with respect to correcting life-style and preventing obesity in children.


Obesity ; Overweight ; Abdominal obesity ; Students ; Iran

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