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Iran J Public Health. 2013 Nov;42(11):1283-91.

Childhood Obesity, Overweight, Socio-Demographic and Life Style Determinants among Preschool Children in Babol, Northern Iran.

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1. Dept. of Biostatistics and Epidemiolgy, Babol University of Medical Sciences , Babol, Iran.
2. Dept. of Internal Medicine, Ayatollah Rohani hospital, Babol University of Medical Sciences , Babol, Iran.



Childhood obesity and overweight are a general public health concern in a transition society. Thus, the objective of the study was to determine the prevalence of overweight, obesity and their correlates with socio-demographic and life style related factors.


This cross-sectional study was conducted on 760 representative samples of preschool children aged 2 to 5 years in urban area of Babol, northern Iran. The weight and height were measured with standard method and the socio-demographic and life style data were collected by interviewing their parents. The diagnosis of overweight and obesity was based on CDC criteria.


The prevalence rate of overweight and obesity were 11.8%, 15% respectively. There was no significant difference observed between sexes. The odds of overweight/obesity was elevated more than double in age 4-5 years compared with 2-3 years(OR=2.53, 95%CI:1.71-3.73). By parental education at university level, the odds ratio significant decreased compared with primary level (OR=0.34, 95%CI: 0.31-0.90 and OR=0.49, 95%CI: 0.34-0.98 for mothers and fathers respectively). Parental obesity is positively associated with overweight/obesity risk OR=2.67(95%CI: 1.75, 4.07) and 1.61(95% CI: 1.04-2.150) for mothers and fathers respectively). While spending ≥2 hours per day for Tv watching and ≥1 hours for playing with computer games tended to elevate the risk but not significant.


The findings indicate that overweight and obesity are high in preschool children in Babol. Increasing child age, parental obesity, spending more times on TV and playing with computer games are positively associated with overweight/obesity while parental education at university level is inversely associated.


Childhood obesity; Demographic; Iran; Life style; Overweight


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