Trend in the prevalence of obesity and overweight among Iranian children and adolescents: A systematic review and meta-analysis
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OBJECTIVE: Childhood obesity is an important predisposing factor for most non-communicable diseases. The aim of this review was to provide evidence on the prevalence and trends of childhood obesity and overweight in Iran. METHODS: Multiple international and Iranian scientific databases were searched for relevant literatures. Two independent reviewers identified relevant papers in several steps. Separate meta-analyses (using fixed- or random-effect models) were performed to estimate the overall, age, sex, and age-sex specific prevalence of obesity and overweight. Stratified analysis based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, International Obesity Task Force, and World Health Organization definition criteria and study year also were performed. RESULTS: We included 107 studies in the meta-analysis (49 English and 58 Persian). Based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention definition criteria, the overall prevalence of obesity and overweight remained relatively constant in the 2000s and are estimated to be about 5.1% (95% confidence interval [CI], 4.4-5.8) and 10.8% (95% CI, 10.2-11.4), respectively. The meta-regression analysis showed that the prevalence of obesity and overweight did not vary significantly with respect to sex and age of study participants. Girls had a lower prevalence of obesity and higher prevalence of overweight than boys. CONCLUSION: This review, which is the first of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa, suggests that although the trend in the prevalence of childhood obesity in Iranian children is not considerably high, but the escalating trend of excess weight among young children is alarming and should be considered by providers of interventional preventive programs at national and regional levels.
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