The present study examined the prevalence of underweight and overweight in a group of primary-school children in Zahedan, south-east Iran.
A cross-sectional study in a randomly selected population of schoolchildren.
Primary-school children in Zahedan city.
A random sample of 1079 students (boys = 500 and girls = 579). Data on child’s age, parental educational levels, body weight and height were collected.
The rate of overweight/obesity among boys and girls was 8·9 % and 10·3 %, respectively; and of underweight among boys and girls was 22·8 % and 19·9 %, respectively. Prevalence of overweight increased as the boys and girls approached adolescence and it was more prevalent among girls than boys. Prevalence of overweight was directly related to maternal education in this population.
High prevalence of underweight in young children as well as increase in the prevalence of overweight in girls and boys near adolescence are of concern. Early poor growth and subsequent rapid weight gain near to adolescent stage is related to adulthood obesity.
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