Document Type : Original Article(s)


1 Professor, Cardiovascular Research Center, Institute of Basic and Clinical Physiology ‎Sciences, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, ‎Kerman, Iran‎

2 Associate Professor, Physiology Research Center, Institute of Neuropharmacology, ‎Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, ‎Iran

3 Assistant Professor, Cardiovascular Research Center, Institute of Basic and Clinical ‎Physiology Sciences, Kerman University of Medical ‎Sciences, Kerman, Iran

4 Regional Knowledge Hub, and WHO Collaborating Centre for HIV Surveillance, Institute ‎for Futures Studies in Health, Kerman ‎University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran

5 Researcher, Endocrinology and Metabolism Research Center, Institute of Basic and ‎Clinical Physiology Sciences, Kerman University of ‎Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran

6 Global Health Sciences, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA


BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to present age-sex standardized prevalence of overweight and obesity as well as central obesity and its associated variables in an adult population of Iran. METHODS: Around 5900 adult individuals aged 15-75 years enrolled to the study from 2009 to 2011 applying randomized cluster household survey in Kerman, southeastern of Iran. Overweight was defined as body mass index (BMI) 25-29.9 kg/m2, obesity was considered as BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2, and central obesity was regarded as waist circumference (WC) > 88 cm for women and 102 cm for men. RESULTS: The overall age-sex standardized prevalence of overweight, obesity and central obesity was 29.6% (29.5% men, 29.7% women), 13.0% (9.3% men, 16.9% women) and 14.4% (7.5% men, 21.5% women), respectively. “Overweight/obesity” increased by age, [adjusted odds ratio (AOR): 7.9 95% confidence interval (CI): 5.8, 10.7)] for 65-75 years old, 11.7 (95% CI: 9, 15.3) for 55-65 years old, 10.1 (95% CI: 7.8, 13) for 45-54 years old compared with the first age group), female gender [AOR: 1.5 (1.3, 1.8); P < 0.001], higher education (AOR > 1.5 compared with illiterate individuals; P < 0.001), and low physical activity [AOR: 1.4 (95% CI: 1.1, 1.8); P = 0.006] and decreased by smoking [AOR: 0.4 (95% CI: 0.3, 0.6); P < 0.001] and opium using [AOR: 0.5 (95% CI: 0.4, 0.7); P < 0.001]. Female gender [AOR: 4.1 (95% CI: 3.3, 5); P < 0.001], advanced (AOR > 7 for age groups ≥ 35 years old; P < 0.001) positively, while smoking [AOR: 0.6 (0.4, 0.8); P = 0.004] negatively were the most significant predictors for abnormal WC.  CONCLUSION: Our data reveal that overweight and obesity affected almost half of the adult population (43.0%), and central obesity was around 15.0%, which reflect the high prevalence of this abnormality. In addition, several demographic, social and lifestyle factors were associated with obesity. Appropriate interventions and strategies with a concentration of the general population are needed to deal with its potential subsequent consequences.