Introduction: The problem of increasing prevalence of overweight and obesity as a consequence of new life styles is worrying the scientists and health officers in less developed countries. In Iran that is experiencing an accelerated nutrition transition overweight has turned into a major public health problem.
Objective: To determine overweight and obesity prevalence in Iranian adults.
Material and methods: We have used data on 35 924 individuals (17 996 male) from the National Food Consumption Survey. This survey recruited 7158 households from urban and rural regions of all the 28 provinces of the country. Age was confirmed by observing the ID, weight and height were measured due to standard protocols and BMI was calculated. Pre-obesity was defined as BMI ≥25 and obesity as BMI ≥30. Overweight was defined as the sum of the pre-obesity and obesity.
Findings: The average BMI was 25.5 among women and 26.4 among men. The prevalence of overweight was %42.4 among men and %56.5 among women. Obesity prevalence was %10 among men and %24 among women (P<0.001). Prevalence of pre-obesity and obesity among rural individuals is higher than their urban counterparts (P<0.001).
Conclusion: Our data show that the prevalence of overweight and obesity in Iran especially among rural women can be considered as a public health problem. After conducting analytic studies to determine the determinants and risk factors of overweight in different social layers, proper and feasible action plans are needed to slow down the accelerated trend of obesity.