The Prevalence of Obesity and Overweight in Iranian Primary School Students: A Systematic Review

Authors

1 Assistant Professor of Pediatric Cardiology, Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Bushehr University of Medical Sciences, Bushehr, Iran.

2 Fellowship of Pediatric Intensive Care, Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

3 Professor, Pediatric Endocrinologist, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

4 Department of Nutrition, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

Abstract

Background: Obesity is a critical nutritional issue in developed countries and has increased worldwide in recent decades. In childhood obesity, excess body fat negatively affects a child’s health and well-being. This study investigates the prevalence of obesity and overweight in Iranian primary school students.
Materials and Methods: In this systematic review, a systemic search of online databases (Medline, EMBASE, Scopus, Web of Science, Cochrane Library, CIVILICA, SID, Magiran, and Google Scholar search engine) was conducted for related studies with no time limit up to December 2021, using the related Mesh keywords. Two reviewers evaluated the quality of eligible studies and carried out the selection procedure.
Results: The prevalence of obesity and overweight in primary school children was 14.3% (3.1-14.3%), and 18.8% (5.5-18.8%), respectively. Obesity and overweight were more prevalent in primary students from Semnan and less prevalent in students from Tabriz. Based on the results, the relationship of overweight and obesity in students with their age, gender, weight at birth, school type, taking snacks, walking time to school, family size, parental education, father's job, parental obesity, physical activity levels, and family income was significant (p<0.05).
Conclusion: The prevalence of obesity and overweight was 14.3% and 18.8% among primary school students. Educational interventions to prevent and reduce this problem at the level of schools and families seem necessary.

Keywords