ISSN 1470-3947 (print) | ISSN 1479-6848 (online)

Endocrine Abstracts (2008) 16 P502

The obesity, physical activity status and dietary pattern in 10-12 years old girls of a mountainous region in north of Iran

Nahid Salarkia1 & Homeira Nasiri Reineh2

1National Nutrition and Food Technology Research Institute, Tehran, Iran, Islamic Republic of Iran; 2Open University, Tonekabon, Iran, Islamic Republic of Iran.

Background: It has been shown that one of major causes of obesity in young people could be explained by physical inactivity and fat intake.

Purpose: This study was carried out to investigate the prevalence of obesity, dietary pattern and physical activity status in Tonekabon girls, a mountainous city in north of Iran.

Methods: In a cross-sectional study 311 girls aged 10–12 years old in Tonekabon were studied. Weight, height, waist and hip circumferences of subjects were measured. Body mass index (BMI) and WHR (waist-to-hip ratio) were calculated. Food intake was assessed by using three 24-hour dietary recall and food frequency questionnaire. Physical activity level was measured using the physical activity questionnaire. Subjects were classified based on the intensity of effort as having light, moderate, heavy and very heavy levels of physical activity.

Results: The prevalence of overweight and obesity was 17 and 6%, respectively. 65% of subjects had normal weight and 12% were underweight. In 30% of the participants WHR was ≥0.85.The mean percentage values of energy intake derived from carbohydrate, protein and fat were 60, 11 and 29%, respectively. The physical activity level of subjects was 45, 43 and 12% that was light, moderate and heavy, respectively.

Conclusion: This study showed that overweight and obesity is common in this population. Thus prevention of overweight and obesity through a healthy diet and increasing the physical activity programs should be considered. In addition, the educational program to improve nutritional knowledge of this population is essential.

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