Factors Associated with Tendency for Weight Loss in a Representative Sample of Children and Adolescents: The CASPIAN‑V Study

Vahid Mansouri, Roya Riahi, Majid Khademian, Mostafa Qorbani, Motahar Heidari- Beni, Ramin Heshmat, Mohammad Esmaeil Motlagh, Hasan Ziaodini, Razieh Dashti, Majzoubeh Taheri, Shahrebanoo Daniali, Roya Kelishadi


Background: This study aims to determine the factors affecting the tendency to lose weight (TLW)
and its methods in Iranian children and adolescents.

Methods: In this cross‑sectional nationwide study
14800 students, aged 7–18 years, living in 30 provinces of Iran were selected via multistage cluster
random sampling method. The dietary and physical activity habits and TLW as well as psychosocial
health status, anxiety, self‑satisfaction, and change in dietary behaviors were assessed by the global
school‑based student health survey (WHO‑GSHS) questionnaire. Multivariate logistic regression model
was used to identify factors influencing TLW.

Results: Overall, 14274 students (participation rate of
99%), consisting of 51% boys and 71.4% urban residents, completed the study. Of them, 37.7% (51.4%
Girls and 48.6% boys) tended to lose weight. In multivariate model, the odds for TLW was 12%
higher in students aged 13–18 years than those aged 6–12 years (OR = 1.12, 95% CI: 1.02 to 1.23;
P < 0.001). Students with high anxiety level were 43% more likely to have TLW (OR = 1.43, 95% CI:
1.28–1.59; P < 0.001). The odds of increasing physical activity for weight loss was 22% lower in obese
than in normal weight students (OR = 0.78, 95% CI: 0.66 to 0.93; P < 0.001).

Conclusions: TLW was significantly higher in girls, as well as in those with higher anxiety level. In addition to dietary change,
increasing physical activity should be encouraged among children and adolescents with excess weight.
Public education regarding proper lifestyle change for reaching healthy weight should be underscored.


Adolescents; motivation; obesity; overweight; weight loss

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