Dietary Patterns in 1125 Iranian Women: Adequacy of Energy and Micronutrient Intakes and Weight Statuses

Marjan Ajami, Forouzan Salehi, Naser Kalantari, Mohsen Asadilari, Farnaz Roshanmehr, Anahita Houshiarrad, Mina Esmaeili, Morteza Abdollahi


Background: Women’s nutrition status includes significant effects on their children and household health. The purpose of this study was to assess energy and micronutrient intake adequacy in Iranian women. Methods: This study was a part of the Urban HEART Study, which has jointly been developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) Centre for Health Development, Kobe, Japan. In total, anthropometric and dietary intake data were collected from 1125 women in southern Tehran municipality districts. A 24‑h recall questionnaire was completed by the expert nutritionists and the participants’ anthropometric statuses were assessed. Food intakes were calculated in grams per capita per day. Micronutrients and energy requirements were adapted from WHO/Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) tables and Iran National Food Consumption Survey, respectively. Results: Nearly 71.5% of the women were overweight or obese [body mass index (BMI) ≥25 kg/m2 ]. Furthermore, 1.2% of the women were underweight (BMI <18.5 kg/m2 ), while 27.3% had normal weight (BMI = 18.5‑‑24.9 kg/m2 ). The mean bread/cereal and vegetable intakes were significantly higher in obese group, compared to that in normal/under/overweight group (375.6 g/day ± 151.4, P = 0.05; and 331.4 g/day ± 227.5, P = 0.02), respectively]. Women in the lean group significantly consumed higher quantities of cakes/pastries and had the lowest calcium and iron adequacy ratios, compared to other groups (p = 0.001, P = 0.03, and P = 0.05, respectively). Conclusions: These findings suggest that Iranian women, especially those who reside in the southern areas of Tehran, need to change their dietary habits to maintain their health. Moreover, being under/normal weight does not necessarily mean following healthy diets.


Body mass index; energy density; energy intake; micronutrient adequacy; obesity


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