The Prevalence of Weight Disorders in Children and Adolescents in Lorestan Province: Comparison of Three Different Criteria in A Cross-sectional Study
Background: Anthropometric studies in children and adolescents are important to screen changes in growth and puberty. Hence, standard percentiles and cutoffs are set by the World Health Organization (WHO), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Iranian national criteria. This study aimed to examine and compare the prevalence of weight disorders in children and adolescents in Lorestan province according to different criteria.
Methods: Children and adolescents (6–18 years) were randomly selected from the urban and rural areas by the multistage stratified cluster sampling method. All Iranian citizens aged who resided in Lorestan province for at least one year were eligible to participate in this study. After obtaining consent forms, researchers gathered the accurate anthropometrics and body mass index (BMI) measurements.
Results: A total of 866 children and adolescents took part in the study, 447(51.6%) of whom were girls and 419 (48.4%) were boys. The overall prevalence of overweight and obesity was 17% in boys and 12.5% in girls. The prevalence of underweight in girls was 5.8%; while in boys it was 4.5%. The total prevalence rate of underweight according to the national criteria was 5.2%. However, this rate increased to 12% and 12.6% by using WHO and CDC cut-off points, respectively. The highest prevalence of overweight was obtained by CDC (15.8%), followed by WHO (13%); while national cut-off points resulted in 9.7%. Furthermore, 9.2% of the studied population was found to be obese by WHO; while this rate was 4.2%, and 5% by CDC and national cut-off points.
Conclusion: This study indicated the coexisting prevalence of underweight and obesity and high prevalence of overweight among children and adolescents in Lorestan province. Furthermore, using the WHO and CDC criteria leads to overestimating the prevalence of weight disorder compared to the national cut-off points in Iran.