Academic journal article The Journal of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health

Iranian Weight Increase

Academic journal article The Journal of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health

Iranian Weight Increase

Article excerpt

IRAN

Over a third of Iranians are overweight or obese, according to Ali-Akbar Sayari, former deputy Health Minister, equaling around 25 million in a country of 70 million.

Breaking down the numbers, this translates to 61% of over 20s in urban areas and 50% of over 20s in rural areas being overweight or obese. In addition, 12% of under 20s are estimated to be overweight, while 5-7% are obese.

"Children must be taught healthy behaviour when they are young because change becomes more difficult with age," said Sayari. "Physical activity and proper nutrition are the cornerstones of preventing obesity in children and adolescents, and families and schools are the two most critical links in providing the foundation for those behaviours."

The rising obesity rate in Iran has contributed to many kinds of health problems. Reports indicate 10% of Iran's over fifteens now suffer from high blood pressure, a condition linked to obesity, while "about 30% of over forties have high blood pressure," added Sayari.

Heart attacks are also causing tens of thousands of deaths annually in Iran, he stated, adding that people are having heart attacks at a younger age due to stress and bad nutritional habits. …

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