Background: Considering that children are major part of most populations and also considering the fact that childhood nutrition affects the health status in adulthood, we aimed to assess the nutritional status and its related factors among 6-24-month-old children referring to health care centers in Arsanjan city, southern Iran, in 2011.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was done on 310 children aged 6-24 months. Weight and height were measured and data regarding demographic status, type of feeding, and birth order, were gathered by face to face interview with mothers of the children. Exact age of the children was recorded according to their birth certificate. Z-scores of weight and height were calculated using Epi-info software. SPSS version 16 was used for data analysis.
Results: 27.2% of the studied children were mildly underweight, 2-6% were moderately underweight, and 0.3 %were severely underweight. Also 15.6%, 1.6%, and 0.3% had mild, moderate, and severe stunting, respectively. According to weight for age index 7.4% were mildly overweight and 1.6% were moderately overweight. The prevalence of underweight was significantly more among 6-month-old children compared with the older children (P=0.019). There were no correlations between underweight and stunting and parentsâ€™ education or breast feeding.
Conclusion: Our results indicated that although the prevalence of malnutrition is less than previous decade, it is still substantial. On the other hand it seems that the prevalence of overweight among children younger than 2 years is increasing. As childhood obesity is a risk factor for adulthood obesity and its related diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, prevention of obesity among children is of importance.