BACKGROUND: Although the association between socioeconomic status (SES) and general/central obesity has extensively been examined, limited data are available in this regard among children. The aim of this study was to examine the association between household SES and obesity among children.METHODS: This cross-sectional study was done in Farrokhshahr, Iran, among primary school children aged 6-12 years in 2009. SES was examined using participants’ and their parents’ oral responses to a pretested questionnaire. In the current study, participants were classified based on tertiles of SES score to low, medium, and high SES categories. General as well as central obesity was defined based on age- and sex-specific national cut-off points.RESULTS: Comparing individuals in the highest versus lowest tertile of SES, there was no significant difference in mean waist circumference (WC), but those in the middle tertile of SES had greater means of body mass index (BMI) than those in the lowest tertile after controlling for potential confounders (16.19 ± 0.27 vs. 15.27 ± 0.27 kg/m2, P = 0.002). We observed a greater chance of general obesity for those in the highest tertile of SES compared with those in the lowest tertile [odds ratio (OR): 4.00, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.53-10.59, Ptrend = 0.004]. No significant association was seen between SES and central obesity, either before or after controlling for potential confounders.CONCLUSION: We found that children in the highest SES class had a greater chance of general obesity than those in the lowest SES class. There was no significant association between SES and central obesity.