Growth disorders among 6-year-old Iranian children

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.© 2014,Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal.

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