How Healthy are Children at the Beginning of Primary School in Iran?

Sara Emamgholipour, Saeedeh Mirrezaei


Background: Childhood is the most important life stages where personality is built and formed.
Since children are as a treasured capital for each society, assessment of their health status is so vital.
This study assessed the health indices of children starting the primary school and considered parental
factors influencing kid’s health.

Methods: An analytical descriptive cross‑sectional study applied to
measure the health status of children at the beginning primary school. The data extracted from 7768
primary school children with an average value of age 7 years and their parents, who were referred to
Children Health Testing centers in the school year of 2016, in all provinces of Iran.

Results: From 7768 kids, 52.3% were boys and 47.7% were girls. The mean of weight and height of children was
20.65 kg, and 115.84 cm, respectively. The mean body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) for age ratio of
children in the country was 16.26. In addition, 4.9% of boys and 3.7% of girls were short stature,
0.5% of boys and 1.8% of girls were tall and 94.5% of kids had normal growth. About 5.3% of boys
and 6.8% of girls were underweight, 9.2% of boys and 7.7% of girls were overweight, and 4.7% of
boys and 3.4% of girls were obese.

Conclusions: The overweight and severe short stature problems
in children were more dominant than underweight and severe tall. Although underweight is more
common in girls than boys, it is reversed in the case of overweight and obesity. In addition, the ratio
of health problems among children in different provinces was dissimilar, thus considering the health
status of children in each province to find a solution was crucial.


Body Mass Index; child; education; employment; health status; urbanization

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