Comparison of the Prevalence and Trend of Malnutrition between 0–6 Years and 7–11 Years Old Iranian Children: A Systematic Review and Meta‑Analysis

Fatemeh AziziSoleiman, Hamid Sharif, Maryam Zamanian


Background: To plan for decreasing the prevalence of malnutrition among children, reliable data of current status are required. The aim of the present cross‑sectional study was to estimate the prevalence and trend of malnutrition among Iranian children. Methods: PubMed, ISI Web of Science, Scopus, Google Scholar, and Iranian databases including SID and Magiran were searched for studies published prior to October 2017 with MeSH terms of Malnutrition, Nutrition Disorders, Wasting, Stunting, Underweight, Undernutrition, Nutrition, Anthropometry, Weight, and Children and Iran. Three random effect models were applied to estimate the pooled prevalence of underweight, stunting, and wasting. Meta‑regression and cumulative meta‑analysis were performed. All analyses were also conducted separately for two different age groups including 0–6 years old (preschool) and 7–11 years old (primary school). Seventy‑five studies (information of 1,069,815 individuals) were included in the final meta‑analysis. Results: The overall prevalence of underweight, stunting, and wasting was estimated to be 8.4% [95% confidence interval (CI): 7.6–9.1], 14.5% (95% CI: 13.1–15.9) and 5.6% (95% CI: 5–6.2) in children age 0–6 years, and 6.6% (95% CI: 4.8–8.4), 7.3% (95% CI: 5.6–9.1), and 8.3% (95% CI: 6–10.7) in children age 7–11 years, respectively. Conclusions: The cumulative meta‑analysis showed a decrease in the general trend of malnutrition in both preschool and primary school children of Iran. Stunting and wasting were the most common form of malnutrition in Iranian preschool and primary school children, respectively. The decreasing trend of malnutrition was much more noticeable about stunting.


Child; growth disorders; Iran; malnutrition; stunting; underweight; wasting

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