a1 Department of Pediatric Preventive Cardiology, Isfahan Cardiovascular Research Centre, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, PO Box 81465-1148, Isfahan, Iran
Objective To assess the national prevalence of short stature, underweight, overweight and obesity in 6-year-old Iranian children before school entry.
Design Cross-sectional nationwide survey.
Setting Mandatory national screening programme before entrance to elementary school in 2008 in Iran.
Subjects All Iranian children entering public and private elementary schools.
Results The study population comprised 862 433 children (48·4 % girls, 77·2 % urban resident). Overall, 6·5 % of children had short stature, 19·1 % were underweight, 12·8 % were overweight and 3·4 % were obese. There was no significant difference in terms of gender, but considerably larger differences were documented among various provinces.
Conclusions The double burden of nutritional disorders among young children warrants a multi-faceted national policy with evidence-based local programmes. Such planning needs a comprehensive surveillance system and centralized data registry for children’s growth.
(Received January 18 2010)
(Accepted June 30 2010)
(Online publication September 15 2010)