Socio-demographic factors associated with body mass index of female adolescent students in Semnan city, Iran

Malaysian Journal of Nutrition

Volume 1 - Number

Article Type: ---- Unspecified ----

Malnutrition among adolescents is not only an important health problem but also an economic development problem in Iran and other developing countries. The home environment is found to be related to the development of malnutrition in children. Information on this relationship is important to identify the target risk groups for nutritional intervention. The objective of this study was to determine the association between socio-demographics with BMI status in high school adolescent girls in Semnan. In a cross- sectional study, using two-stage random sampling, 256 girl students aged 14-18 years were randomly selected from eight Semnan high schools. Weight and height were measured and BMI was calculated. Weight status was determined based on the CDC 2000 reference for BMI-for-age. Data on socio-demographic factors like age, age at menarche, family size, parental education, parental job and economic status was collected through a questionnaire. Age at menarche and mother's literacy had significant association with weight status (P =0.031, P =0.001 respectively). Logistic regression analyses showed mother's literacy and age at menarche were strong predictors for overweight but not for under weight. Increasing maternal nutritional knowledge is necessary to initiate changes in nutritional conduct. In addition, a longitudinal study of adolescent nutrition and its associated factors is suggested.