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:: Volume 3, Number 4 (2-2009) ::
2009, 3(4): 49-56 Back to browse issues page
Prevalence of stunting, underweight, wasting and overweight among Iranian under-five-year-old children (2000-2002)
A Houshiar Rad *, AR Dorosty, N Kalantari, M Abdollahi, M Abtahi
Abstract:   (21171 Views)
Background and objectives: A key target of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) toward eliminating poverty and hunger is to reduce malnutrition among children less than 5 years. Over the past 20 years developing countries have experienced accelerated urbanization and an increase in the incidence of overweight and obesity as a consequence. Monitoring progress of countries toward the MDG requires reliable data on the growth status of children at the national level. The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of stunting, underweight, wasting, overweight and obesity among under-five-year-old children of the Iranian households included in the National Comprehensive Study on Household Food Consumption Patterns and Nutritional Status (2000-2002). Materials and methods: Data from 7158 households, with a total of 2562 under-five-year-old children, selected through random systematic sampling from 28 provinces, were included in the study. Trained nutritionists measured weight (with Seca digital balance, to the nearest 100gr) and height (using tape, to the nearest 0.1 cm) of all the household members during three consecutive days, using standard protocols. Age was documented in months, based on birth certificates. For children under two years, weight was based on the mean of two weighings, and recumbent length was measured. Undernutrition was defined as less than 2 standard deviations (2SD) of weight-for-age, height-for-age and weight-for-height z-scores, and overweight+obesity as higher than 2SD. The results were expressed based on weighted means of the total country, rural, and urban areas, and for both sexes. Results: The total prevalence of stunting was 13.1% (CI 95%: 11/8%-14.4%) and of underweight 7.6% (CI 95%: 6.6%-8.6%). Prevalences of stunting and underweight in rural areas were twice those in urban areas. There were statistically nonsignificant gender differences: the prevalences of stunting and underweight were, respectively, 14.2% and 7.3% among boys, and 11.8% and 8.0% among girls. Wasting and overweight were less prevalent–the proportion of wasting was 4.5% and of overweight+obesity 5.2% the prevalence of the latter was similar in rural and urban areas but it was higher among girls. Finally, the prevalence of wasting in urban areas was twice that in rural areas. Conclusion: According to the WHO classifications based on underweight, stunting and wasting rates, Iran is grouped with the countries having low prevalence rates. The high prevalence of overweight in children must be taken seriously, and it is absolutely esential to pay sufficient attention to both ends of the malnutrition spectrum. The findings of this study indicate that in order to achieve the millennium goals, improvements in living standards and the quality of diets is essential.
Keywords: Stunting, Underweight, Wasting, Overweight and obesity, Under-five-year-old children, Iran
Full-Text [PDF 226 kb]   (3019 Downloads)    
Type of Study: Research | Subject: Food Science
Received: 2009/04/11
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Houshiar Rad A, Dorosty A, Kalantari N, Abdollahi M, Abtahi M. Prevalence of stunting, underweight, wasting and overweight among Iranian under-five-year-old children (2000-2002). Iranian Journal of Nutrition Sciences & Food Technology. 2009; 3 (4) :49-56
URL: http://nsft.sbmu.ac.ir/article-1-120-en.html
Volume 3, Number 4 (2-2009) Back to browse issues page
Iranian Journal of  Nutrition Sciences & Food  Technology
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