Introduction: The high prevalence of obesity and overweightness has been a major focus during past decades.
Objective: This study assessed the prevalence of obesity/overweightness, its trend and related factors among adolescent students, in Mazandaran province.
Materials and Methods: In a descriptive study and using stratified, random sampling method, the students’ documents in the first degree of three educational levels; primary, lower secondary and upper secondary were assessed during 2005-2014 years. Body Mass Index (BMI) was calculated. BMI Z-Score was categorized into three grades; normal (1≤z<- 2), over weight (1≤z<2), and obese (≥2). The prevalence of obesity at each level was investigated.
Results: Based on BMI Z-score, 3.1%, 4%, and 2.9% of the sample popualtion at ages 7, 12 and 15 years were obese, respectively. Moreover, the rate of overweightness increased from 8.3% (98) at age 7 to 10.1% (121) and 10% (119) at ages 12 and 15 years, respectively. At the age of 15years, the rate of obesity and overweightness in girls was double that much of the boys (1.9% vs. 1.1% and 7% vs. 3%). There were no significant relationships between obesity/overweight and parent occupation and education, kind of school as well as students’ living places.
Conclusion: In this study, the prevalence of obesity in Mazandaran in comparison to national adolescents’ obesity was low but the prevalence of overweightness was high at each educational level. Intervention programs for the prevention of overweightness should be initiated at primary or secondary school ages.
Conflict of interest: None declared.