Obesity among Iranian adolescent girls: location of residence and parental obesity

Mohsen Maddah, Bahareh Nikooyeh
Journal of Health, Population, and Nutrition 2010, 28 (1): 61-6
This cross-sectional study was conducted to investigate the prevalence and predictors of overweight and obesity by location of residence among randomly-selected 2,577 urban school girls aged 12-17 years in Rasht, Iran. Data on age, frequency of skipping breakfast per week, physical activity, hours of television viewing, self-perception about body condition, and home address were collected. Birthweight of the girls, educational levels of parents, weights and heights of parents, and employment status of mothers were asked to the parents using a self-administrated questionnaire. The overall prevalence of overweight and obesity in this population was 18.6% and 5.9% respectively. Overweight or obesity was more common among girls from low-income areas compared to high-income areas (21.6% vs 17.1%, p<0.001). Maternal education was positively related to overweight/obesity of the girls. Results of logistic regression analysis showed that risk of overweight/obesity was higher in girls whose either parent was overweight or obese. Furthermore, living in low-income areas and skipping breakfast were independently related to overweight/obesity. These data suggest that overweight and obesity are a public-health concern among school girls, especially in low-income areas in Rasht. Knowing risk factors in population subgroups is important for planners in the country because it helps target interventions.

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