• Overview
  • Obesity prevalence
  • Trends over time
  • Population breakdowns
  • Drivers
  • Comorbidities
  • Economic impact
  • Policies
  • Contextual factors
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Obesity prevalence

Adults, 2016

Survey type:Measured
Age:18+
Sample size:31050
Area covered:National
References:Djalalinia S, Saeedi Moghaddam S, Sheidaei A, Rezaei N, Naghibi Iravani SS, Modirian M, Zokaei H, Yoosefi M, Gohari K, Kousha A, Abdi Z, Naderimagham S, Soroush AR, Larijani B, Farzadfar F. Patterns of Obesity and Overweight in the Iranian Population: Findings of STEPs 2016. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2020 Feb 26;11:42. doi: 10.3389/fendo.2020.00042. PMID: 32174887; PMCID: PMC7055062.
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Adults, 2015

Survey type:Measured
Age:15-65
Sample size:2818
Area covered:Subnational (East-Azerbaijan)
References:Tabrizi et al. (2018). Prevalence and Associated Factors of Overweight or Obesity and Abdominal Obesity in Iranian Population: A Population-based Study of Northwestern Iran. Iran J Public Health.47(10):1583-1592.
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Women, 2014

Survey type:Measured
Age:15-50
Sample size:1250
Area covered:Regional
References:Yaghoobi, M. et al. 2015. The Prevalence of Obesity and Overweight in Iranian Women: A Study in Zahedan (Southeast of Iran). Scholars Journal of Applied Medical Sciences. 3(3F). pp. 1411-1415.
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Adults, 2011

Survey type:Measured
Age:20+
Sample size:8639
Area covered:National
References:Bakhshi E, Koohpayehzadeh J, Seifi B, et al. Obesity and Related Factors in Iran: The STEPS Survey, 2011. Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal. 2015;17(6):e22479. doi:10.5812/ircmj.17(6)2015.22479.
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Adults, 2009

Survey type:Measured
Age:15-64
Sample size:29101
Area covered:National
References:WHO EMRO IRAN STEPS SURVEY 2009 http://www.who.int/chp/steps/iran/en/ (last accessed 18th November 2014)
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Adults, 2005

Survey type:Measured
Age:15-64
Sample size:89404
Area covered:National
References:WHO infobase. Alikhani S. NCD risk factor surveillance system, Center for Disease Control, Ministry of Health and Medical Education, I. R. Iran.
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Adults, 2001-2003

Survey type:Measured
Age:18+
Sample size:18307
Area covered:National
References:Ebrahimi, S., Leech, R.M., McNaughton, S.A., Abdollahi, M., Houshiarrad, A. and Livingstone, K.M. (2021), Associations between diet quality and obesity in a nationally representative sample of Iranian households:a cross-sectional study. Obes Sci Pract. Accepted Author Manuscript. https://doi.org/10.1002/osp4.536
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Adults, 1993-1994

Survey type:Measured
Age:20-74
Sample size:3378
Area covered:Southern Iran
References:Pishdad GR. Overweight and obesity in adults aged 20-74 in southern Iran. IJO. 1996;20:963-965
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Children, 2015

Survey type:Measured
Age:10-12
Sample size:2506
Area covered:Regional
References:Moradi G, Mostafavi F, Azadi N, Esmaeilnasab N, Ghaderi E.Socioeconomic Inequality in Childhood Obesity.J Res Health Sci. 2017 Aug 15;17(3):E1-6.
Notes:Region: Sanandaj, Western Iran, Cut off: WHO 85th & 95th Centile NB. Combined child data estimated. These estimates were calculated by weighting male and female survey results. Weighting based on World Bank Population % total female 2019 (https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.POP.TOTL.FE.ZS - accessed 21.10.20)'
Cutoffs:WHO

Girls, 2015

Survey type:Measured
Age:12-18
Sample size:3178
Area covered:National
References:Shayan-Moghadam, R., Heidari-Beni, M., Riahi, R., Motlagh, M.E., Fesharaki, S., Heshmat, R., Daniali, S.S. and Kelishadi, R., 2020. Assessment of Lifestyle and Eating Habits among a Nationally Representative Sample of Iranian Adolescent Girls: the CASPIAN-V Study. Archives of Iranian medicine, 23(8), pp.522-529.
Cutoffs:WHO 2007

Children, 2015

Survey type:Measured
Age:7-18
Sample size:14274
Area covered:National
References:Motlagh ME, Ziaodini H, Qorbani M, Taheri M, Aminaei T, Goodarzi A, Ataie-Jafari A, Rezaei F, Ahadi Z, Shafiee G, Shahsavari A, Heshmat R, Kelishadi R. Methodology and early findings of the fifth survey of childhood and adolescence surveillance and prevention of adult noncommunicable disease: The caspian-v study. Int J Prev Med 2017;8:4. https://www.ijpvmjournal.net/text.asp?2017/8/1/4/198915
Cutoffs:WHO

Children, 2012-2013

Survey type:Measured
Age:6-12
Sample size:2195
Area covered:Semnan Province
References:Karimi B, Ghorbani R. Overweight and Obesity in the Iranian Schoolchildren. Middle East J Rehabil Health. 2015 January; 2(1): e24433.
Notes:CDC 85th/95th Centile NOT IOTF International Cut off
Cutoffs:CDC

Children, 2003-2004

Survey type:Measured
Age:6-18
Sample size:21111
Area covered:National
References:Kelishadi R, Ardalan G, Gheiratmand R, Majdzadeh R, Hosseini M, Gouya MM, Razaghi EM, Delavari A, Motaghian M, Barekati H, Mahmoud-Arabi MS, Lock K; Caspian Study Group. Thinness, overweight and obesity in a national sample of Iranian children and adolescents: CASPIAN study. Child Care Health Dev. 2008;34(1):44-54.
Notes:IOTF Cut off. Reference: Cole TJ, Bellizzi MC, Flegal KM, Dietz WH. Establishing a standard definition for child overweight and obesity worldwide: International survey. BMJ. 2000 May 6;320(7244):1240-3.
Cutoffs:IOTF

Overweight/obesity by education

Adults, 2016

Survey type:Measured
Age:19+
Sample size:31050
Area covered:National
References:Djalalinia S, Saeedi Moghaddam S, Sheidaei A, Rezaei N, Naghibi Iravani SS, Modirian M, Zokaei H, Yoosefi M, Gohari K, Kousha A, Abdi Z, Naderimagham S, Soroush AR, Larijani B, Farzadfar F. Patterns of Obesity and Overweight in the Iranian Population: Findings of STEPs 2016. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2020 Feb 26;11:42. doi: 10.3389/fendo.2020.00042. PMID: 32174887; PMCID: PMC7055062.
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Men, 2004-2005

Survey type:Measured
Age:15-65
Sample size:89404
Area covered:National
References:Janghorbani, M., Amini, M., Willett, W. C., Gouya, M. M., Delavari, A., Alikhani, S. and Mahdavi, A. (2007), First Nationwide Survey of Prevalence of Overweight, Underweight, and Abdominal Obesity in Iranian Adults. Obesity, 15: 2797–2808. doi: 10.1038/oby.2007.332
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Women, 2004-2005

Survey type:Measured
Age:15-65
Sample size:89404
Area covered:National
References:Janghorbani, M., Amini, M., Willett, W. C., Gouya, M. M., Delavari, A., Alikhani, S. and Mahdavi, A. (2007), First Nationwide Survey of Prevalence of Overweight, Underweight, and Abdominal Obesity in Iranian Adults. Obesity, 15: 2797–2808. doi: 10.1038/oby.2007.332
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Children, 2015

Survey type:Measured
Age:10-12
Sample size:2506
Area covered:Sub National - City of SANANDAJ
References:Moradi G, Mostafavi F, Azadi N, Esmaeilnasab N, Ghaderi E.Socioeconomic Inequality in Childhood Obesity.J Res Health Sci. 2017 Aug 15;17(3):E1-6.
Notes:WHO Cut off 85th & 95th Centile Socioeconomic & Educational status based on self report questionnaire Estimated calculated by World Obesity, not age standardised
Cutoffs:WHO

Children, 2012-2013

Survey type:Measured
Age:6-12
Sample size:2195
Area covered:Regional - Semnan Province
References:Batool Karimi; Raheb Ghorbani. Overweight and Obesity in the Iranian Schoolchildren. Middle East Journal of Rehabilitation and Health 01/2015; 2(1). DOI: 10.17795/mejrh-24433
Notes:Prevalence of overweight and obesity by Fathers' Educational Level. Overweight is defined as a BMI ≥ 85th percentile and lower than the 95th percentile for children of the same age and sex. Obesity is defined as a BMI ≥ 95th percentile for children of the same age and sex.
Cutoffs:WHO

Overweight/obesity by age

Adults, 2016

Survey type:Measured
Sample size:31050
Area covered:National
References:Djalalinia S, Saeedi Moghaddam S, Sheidaei A, Rezaei N, Naghibi Iravani SS, Modirian M, Zokaei H, Yoosefi M, Gohari K, Kousha A, Abdi Z, Naderimagham S, Soroush AR, Larijani B, Farzadfar F. Patterns of Obesity and Overweight in the Iranian Population: Findings of STEPs 2016. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2020 Feb 26;11:42. doi: 10.3389/fendo.2020.00042. PMID: 32174887; PMCID: PMC7055062.
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Adults, 2015

Survey type:Measured
Sample size:2818
Area covered:Subnational (East-Azerbaijan)
References:Tabrizi et al. (2018). Prevalence and Associated Factors of Overweight or Obesity and Abdominal Obesity in Iranian Population: A Population-based Study of Northwestern Iran. Iran J Public Health.47(10):1583-1592.
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Adults, 2004-2005

Survey type:Measured
Sample size:89404
Area covered:National
References:Janghorbani, M., Amini, M., Willett, W. C., Gouya, M. M., Delavari, A., Alikhani, S. and Mahdavi, A. (2007), First Nationwide Survey of Prevalence of Overweight, Underweight, and Abdominal Obesity in Iranian Adults. Obesity, 15: 2797–2808. doi: 10.1038/oby.2007.332
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Children, 2010-2011

Survey type:Measured
Sample size:2000
Area covered:Shiraz
References:Prevalence of Childhood Obesity and Hypertension in South of Iran. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23880805/ (last accessed 31.05.2022)
Cutoffs:BMI-for-age Z-score

Overweight/obesity by region

Adults, 2016

Survey type:Measured
Age:19+
Sample size:31050
Area covered:National
References:Djalalinia S, Saeedi Moghaddam S, Sheidaei A, Rezaei N, Naghibi Iravani SS, Modirian M, Zokaei H, Yoosefi M, Gohari K, Kousha A, Abdi Z, Naderimagham S, Soroush AR, Larijani B, Farzadfar F. Patterns of Obesity and Overweight in the Iranian Population: Findings of STEPs 2016. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2020 Feb 26;11:42. doi: 10.3389/fendo.2020.00042. PMID: 32174887; PMCID: PMC7055062.
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Men, 2004-2005

Survey type:Measured
Age:15-65
Sample size:89404
Area covered:National
References:Janghorbani, M., Amini, M., Willett, W. C., Gouya, M. M., Delavari, A., Alikhani, S. and Mahdavi, A. (2007), First Nationwide Survey of Prevalence of Overweight, Underweight, and Abdominal Obesity in Iranian Adults. Obesity, 15: 2797–2808. doi: 10.1038/oby.2007.332
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Women, 2004-2005

Survey type:Measured
Age:15-65
Sample size:89404
Area covered:National
References:Janghorbani, M., Amini, M., Willett, W. C., Gouya, M. M., Delavari, A., Alikhani, S. and Mahdavi, A. (2007), First Nationwide Survey of Prevalence of Overweight, Underweight, and Abdominal Obesity in Iranian Adults. Obesity, 15: 2797–2808. doi: 10.1038/oby.2007.332
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Children, 2012-2013

Survey type:Measured
Age:6-12
Sample size:2195
Area covered:Regional - Semnan Province
References:Batool Karimi; Raheb Ghorbani. Overweight and Obesity in the Iranian Schoolchildren. Middle East Journal of Rehabilitation and Health 01/2015; 2(1). DOI: 10.17795/mejrh-24433
Notes:Overweight is defined as a BMI ≥ 85th percentile and lower than the 95th percentile for children of the same age and sex. Obesity is defined as a BMI ≥ 95th percentile for children of the same age and sex.
Cutoffs:Other

Children, 2012-2013

Survey type:Measured
Sample size:6738
Area covered:Fars Province
References:Overweight and Obesity among Preschool Children from Fars Province of Iran: Prevalence and Associated Factors. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7189086/ (last accessed 31.05.2022)
Cutoffs:NCHS/CDC cut-off points

Overweight/obesity by socio-economic group

Adults, 2016

Survey type:Measured
Age:19+
Sample size:31050
Area covered:National
References:Djalalinia S, Saeedi Moghaddam S, Sheidaei A, Rezaei N, Naghibi Iravani SS, Modirian M, Zokaei H, Yoosefi M, Gohari K, Kousha A, Abdi Z, Naderimagham S, Soroush AR, Larijani B, Farzadfar F. Patterns of Obesity and Overweight in the Iranian Population: Findings of STEPs 2016. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2020 Feb 26;11:42. doi: 10.3389/fendo.2020.00042. PMID: 32174887; PMCID: PMC7055062.
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Adults, 2014-2015

Survey type:Self-reported
Age:15-84
Sample size:87,240
Area covered:National
References:Emamiana, M.H, Fatehb, M, Hosseinpoorc, A.R, Alamid, A, and Fotouhi, A. 2017. Obesity and its socioeconomic determinants in Iran. Economics and Human Biology. 26. pp. 144-150.
Notes:NOTE: this data is from self-report.
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Children, 2015

Survey type:Measured
Age:10-12
Sample size:2506
Area covered:Regional
References:Moradi G, Mostafavi F, Azadi N, Esmaeilnasab N, Ghaderi E.Socioeconomic Inequality in Childhood Obesity.J Res Health Sci. 2017 Aug 15;17(3):E1-6.
Notes:Sub National - City of SANANDAJ WHO Cut off 85th & 95th Centile Socioeconomic & Educational status based on self report questionnaire Estimated calculated by World Obesity, not age standardised
Cutoffs:WHO

Insufficient physical activity

Adults, 2016

References:Guthold R, Stevens GA, Riley LM, Bull FC. Worldwide trends in insufficient physical activity from 2001 to 2016: a pooled analysis of 358 population-based surveys with 1.9 million participants. Lancet 2018 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(18)30357-7

Men, 2016

References:Guthold R, Stevens GA, Riley LM, Bull FC. Worldwide trends in insufficient physical activity from 2001 to 2016: a pooled analysis of 358 population-based surveys with 1.9 million participants. Lancet 2018 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(18)30357-7

Women, 2016

References:Guthold R, Stevens GA, Riley LM, Bull FC. Worldwide trends in insufficient physical activity from 2001 to 2016: a pooled analysis of 358 population-based surveys with 1.9 million participants. Lancet 2018 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(18)30357-7

Estimated per capita fruit intake

Adults, 2017

Survey type:Measured
Age:25+
References:Global Burden of Disease, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation http://ghdx.healthdata.org/
Definitions:Estimated per-capita fruit intake (g/day)

Estimated per-capita processed meat intake

Adults, 2017

Survey type:Measured
Age:25+
References:Global Burden of Disease, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation http://ghdx.healthdata.org/
Definitions:Estimated per-capita processed meat intake (g per day)

Estimated per capita whole grains intake

Adults, 2017

Survey type:Measured
Age:25+
References:Global Burden of Disease, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation http://ghdx.healthdata.org/
Definitions:Estimated per-capita whole grains intake (g/day)

Mental health - depression disorders

Adults, 2015

References:Prevalence data from Global Burden of Disease study 2015 (http://ghdx.healthdata.org) published in: Depression and Other Common Mental Disorders: Global Health Estimates. Geneva:World Health Organization; 2017. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.
Definitions:% of population with depression disorders

Mental health - anxiety disorders

Adults, 2015

References:Prevalence data from Global Burden of Disease study 2015 (http://ghdx.healthdata.org) published in: Depression and Other Common Mental Disorders: Global Health Estimates. Geneva:World Health Organization; 2017. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.
Definitions:% of population with anxiety disorders

% Infants exclusively breastfed 0-5 months

Children, 2010-2019

Area covered:National
References:Iran's Multiple Indicator Demographic and Health Survey - 2010.
Notes:See UNICEF website for further survey information. Available at : https://data.unicef.org/resources/dataset/infant-young-child-feeding/ (last accessed 28.9.21) Citation: United Nations Children’s Fund, Division of Data, Analysis, Planning and Monitoring (2021). Global UNICEF Global Databases: Infant and Young Child Feeding: Exclusive breastfeeding, New York, September 2021.
Definitions:% exclusively breastfed 0-5 months

Oesophageal cancer

Men, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, oesophagus, adults ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Women, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, oesophagus, adults ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Breast cancer

Women, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, breast, females, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Colorectal cancer

Men, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, colorectum, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Women, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, colorectum, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Pancreatic cancer

Men, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, pancreas, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Women, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, pancreas, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Gallbladder cancer

Men, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, gallbladder, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Women, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, gallbladder, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Kidney cancer

Men, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, kidney, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Women, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, kidney, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Cancer of the uterus

Women, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, cervix uteri, females, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Raised blood pressure

Adults, 2015

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A875?lang=en
Definitions:Age Standardised estimated % Raised blood pressure 2015 (SBP>=140 OR DBP>=90).

Men, 2015

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A875?lang=en
Definitions:Age Standardised estimated % Raised blood pressure 2015 (SBP>=140 OR DBP>=90).

Women, 2015

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A875?lang=en
Definitions:Age Standardised estimated % Raised blood pressure 2015 (SBP>=140 OR DBP>=90).

Raised cholesterol

Adults, 2008

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A885
Definitions:% Raised total cholesterol (>= 5.0 mmol/L) (age-standardized estimate).

Men, 2008

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A885
Definitions:% Raised total cholesterol (>= 5.0 mmol/L) (age-standardized estimate).

Women, 2008

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A885
Definitions:% Raised total cholesterol (>= 5.0 mmol/L) (age-standardized estimate).

Raised fasting blood glucose

Men, 2014

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A869?lang=en
Definitions:Age Standardised % raised fasting blood glucose (>= 7.0 mmol/L or on medication).

Women, 2014

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A869?lang=en
Definitions:Age Standardised % raised fasting blood glucose (>= 7.0 mmol/L or on medication).

Diabetes prevalence

Adults, 2021

Age:20-79
Area covered:National
References:Reproduced with kind permission International Diabetes Federation.  IDF Diabetes Atlas, 10th edn. Brussels, Belgium:International Diabetes Federation, 2021. http://www.diabetesatlas.org
Definitions:Age-adjusted comparative prevalence of diabetes, %

Adults, 2019

Age:20-79
References:Reproduced with kind permission International Diabetes Federation. IDF Diabetes Atlas, 9th edn. Brussels,Belgium: 2019. Available at: https://www.diabetesatlas.org
Definitions:Diabetes age-adjusted comparative prevalence (%).

Total economic cost as % of GDP

Country comparisons

You can choose to compare this country’s data with the data for up to four other countries.

Policies, Interventions and Actions

IRAN-Ending Childhood Obesity (IRAN-ECHO) Program

The IRAN-ECHO program is implementing multicomponent interventions by considering life course dimensions. The program has two parts: a population approach and an individual approach. The population approach considers different periods in life, including prenatal, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, as well as family and society.

Categories (partial):Non-national obesity strategies
Year(s):2017 (ongoing)
Target age group:Children
Linked document:Download linked document
References:Sayyari AA, Abdollahi Z, Ziaodini H, et al. Methodology of the Comprehensive Program on Prevention and Control of Overweight and Obesity in Iranian Children and Adolescents: The IRAN-Ending Childhood Obesity (IRAN-ECHO) Program. Int J Prev Med. 2017;8:107. Published 2017 Dec 19. doi:10.4103/ijpvm.IJPVM_426_17

National action plan for non-communicable diseases prevention and control in Iran; a response to emerging epidemic

The aim of the document is to present the emerging Iranian architecture for NCDs’ prevention and control and create NCDs’ national action plan to move forward.

Categories:Evidence of NCD strategy
Categories (partial):Evidence of National Obesity Strategy/Policy or Action plan
Year(s):2017 (ongoing)
Target age group:Adults and children
Organisation:Iranian Non Communicable Diseases Committee (INCDC
Linked document:Download linked document
References:Peykari N, Hashemi H, Dinarvand R, et al. National action plan for non-communicable diseases prevention and control in Iran; a response to emerging epidemic. J Diabetes Metab Disord. 2017;16:3. Published 2017 Jan 23. doi:10.1186/s40200-017-0288-4

NCD Country Profiles 2018 (Obesity Targets)

The profiles also provide data on the key metabolic risk factors, namely raised blood pressure, raised blood glucose and obesity and National Targets on Obesity (as of 2017)

Categories:Evidence of Obesity Target
Year(s):2017 (ongoing)
Target age group:Adults and children
Organisation:World Health Organisation
References:Noncommunicable diseases country profiles 2018. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2018. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.

National standards for trans-fat reduction in edible oils and foods

There is a mandatory national 2% TFA limit in oils and fats only.

Categories:Evidence of Nutritional or Health Strategy/ Guidelines/Policy/Action plan
Year(s):2016 (ongoing)
Target age group:Adults and children
Organisation:Iranian National Standardization Organization
Linked document:Download linked document
References:Countdown to 2023: WHO report on global trans fat elimination 2021. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2021. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.

Regulations on Food Marketing to Children

In Iran, soft drinks have been banned in advertisements since 2004. Article 37 in the 5th national development plan (2011-2016), banned the advertising of health-threatening goods and services. The list of goods and services included in this regulation is determined by the Ministry of Health annually. According to the 'Set of Production Criteria for Television and Radio Advertising' (2016) , food products cannot be advertised during children's programs, and the use of children living with obesity or individuals portrayed as overeating or eating a food product greedily in food advertising is banned. There is reportedly poor compliance with this regulation.

Categories:Evidence of Marketing Guidelines/Policy
Year(s):2016 (ongoing)
Target age group:Adults and children
Organisation:Government
References:Omidvar, N., Al-Jawaldeh, A., Amini, M., Babashahi, M., Abdollahi, Z. and Ranjbar, M., 2021. Food Marketing to Children in Iran: Regulation that Needs Further Regulation. Current Research in Nutrition and Food Science Journal, 9(3), pp.722-744.

Food Based Dietary Guideline

Food Based Dietary Guidelines Iran (in Persian)

Categories:Evidence of Nutritional or Health Strategy/ Guidelines/Policy/Action plan
Year(s):2015 (ongoing)
Target age group:Adults and children
Organisation:Department of Community Nutrition in the Ministry of Health and Medical Education; with the involvement of the School of Nutritional Sciences and Dietetics, Tehran University of Medical Sciences; Iranian Nutrition Society; and the National Nutrition and Food Technology Research Institute, Tehran
Linked document:Download linked document

Mandatory measures to reduce sodium selected food products

The Iranian government has established maximum salt levels in most commonly consumed canned foods such as tomato paste and salty snacks, and all types of bread.

Categories:Evidence of Nutritional or Health Strategy/ Guidelines/Policy/Action plan
Year(s):2015 (ongoing)
Target age group:Adults and children
Organisation:Iranian National Standardization Organization
Linked document:Download linked document
References:https://extranet.who.int/nutrition/gina/en/node/57261 (Accessed 27.01.22)

Minimum rules for labeling food and beverage products

Since 2015, the Iranian Food and Beverages labelling regulation has mandated a front of pack traffic light label. The label is mandatory for all industrial foods which are manufactured in, or imported into, Iran. The regulation also mandates to include energy, protein, carbohydrates, total fat, saturated fat, trans fat, salt (sodium chloride) and sugar in the nutrition facts section.

Categories:Labelling Regulation/Guidelines
Year(s):2015 (ongoing)
Target age group:Adults and children
Organisation:Food and Drug Administration
Linked document:Download linked document
References:https://extranet.who.int/nutrition/gina/en/node/42843

National Document for Prevention and Control of Non Communicable Diseases and the Related Risk Factors in the Islamic Republic of Iran,2015-2025

Categories:Evidence of NCD strategy
Year(s):2015-2025
Target age group:Adults and children
Organisation:Ministry of Health
Linked document:Download linked document

Mandatory standard for food in schools: National healthy school canteen policy

According to the policy, all schools are banned from selling unhealthy food products such as pizzas, sugary drinks and confectionery in school canteens. Based on the HSC guideline, all schools in Iran have to comply and provide healthy food and drink choices in their canteens]. In 2018, the revision of the HSC guideline ensured the promotion of fruits due to their low availability in schools’ canteens It is reported that the majority of foods and beverages available in Iranian school canteens do not comply with the national standards.

Categories:Evidence of School Food Regulations
Year(s):2014 (ongoing)
Target age group:Children
Organisation:Ministry of Health and Medical Education
References:Ministry of Health and Medical Education. National Guidelines for Healthy Nutrition Canteen in Schools. Tehran, Iran: Ministry of Health and Medical Education; 2017.

Supreme Council of Health and Food Security

The main objectives of this Council include health promotion, improvement of the living quality of population and coordination in the field of food security, health and nutrition. The Council is under supervision of the Ministry of Health and the president of the country is the head of Council.

Categories (partial):Evidence of Nutritional or Health Strategy/ Guidelines/Policy/Action plan
Year(s):2005 (ongoing)
Target age group:Adults and children
Organisation:Ministry of Health
Linked document:Download linked document
References:https://www.fao.org/faolex/results/details/en/c/LEX-FAOC165139 (Accessed 03.03.22)

Marketing in schools

Any form(s) of marketing in kindergartens, schools, and spaces specified for children have been banned. This is covered by 'The Regulation on the Establishment and Monitoring of the Work and Activity of Advertising Centers' (1980) and 'The Policies and Regulations Governing on Environmental Advertising' (2010). There is reportedly poor compliance with these regulations.

Categories:Evidence of Marketing Guidelines/Policy
Year(s):1980 (ongoing)
Target age group:Children
References:Omidvar, N., Al-Jawaldeh, A., Amini, M., Babashahi, M., Abdollahi, Z. and Ranjbar, M., 2021. Food Marketing to Children in Iran: Regulation that Needs Further Regulation. Current Research in Nutrition and Food Science Journal, 9(3), pp.722-744.

GNPR 2016-17 (q7) Breastfeeeding promotion and/or counselling

WHO Global Nutrition Policy Review 2016-2017 reported the evidence of breastfeeding promotion and/or counselling (q7)

Categories:Evidence of Breastfeeding promotion or related activity
Target age group:Adults
Organisation:Ministry of Health (information provided by the GINA progam)
Find out more:extranet.who.int
References:Information provided with kind permission of WHO Global database on the Implementation of Nutrition Action (GINA): https://extranet.who.int/nutrition/gina/en

Treatment guidelines for Surgery

Treatment guidelines for bariatric surgery in Iran. In Persian not available in English

Categories:Evidence of Management/treatment guidelines
Target age group:Adults
Find out more:new.iums.ac.ir

No actions could be found for the above criteria.

Contextual factors

Disclaimer: These contextual factors should be interpreted with care. Results are updated as regularly as possible and use very specific criteria. The criteria used and full definitions are available for download at the bottom of this page.

Tap on a tick to find out more about policies influencing this factor.

Labelling

Is there mandatory nutrition labelling?Present
Front-of-package labelling?Present
Back-of-pack nutrition declaration?Present
Color coding?Present
Warning label?Absent

Regulation and marketing

Are there fiscal policies on unhealthy products?Absent
Tax on unhealthy foods?Absent
Tax on unhealthy drinks?Absent
Are there fiscal policies on healthy products?Absent
Subsidy on fruits?Absent
Subsidy on vegetables?Absent
Subsidy on other healthy products?Absent
Mandatory limit or ban of trans fat (all settings)?Present
Mandatory limit of trans fats in place (all settings)? Present
Ban on trans-fats or phos in place (all settings)? Absent
Are there any mandatory policies/marketing restrictions on the promotion of unhealthy food/drinks to children?Present
Mandatory restriction on broadcast media?Present
Mandatory restriction on non-broadcast media?Absent
Voluntary policies/marketing restrictions on the promotion of unhealthy food/drinks to children?Absent
Are there mandatory standards for food in schools?Present
Are there any mandatory nutrient limits in any manufactured food products?Present
Nutrition standards for public sector procurement?Absent

Political will and support

National obesity strategy or nutrition and physical activity national strategy?Absent
National obesity strategy?Absent
National childhood obesity strategy?Absent
Comprehensive nutrition strategy?Unknown
Comprehensive physical activity strategy?Unknown
Evidence-based dietary guidelines and/or RDAs?Present
National target(s) on reducing obesity?Present
Guidelines/policy on obesity treatment?Unknown
Promotion of breastfeeding?Present

Monitoring and surveillance

Monitoring of the prevalence and incidence for the main obesity-related NCDs and risk factors?Present
Within 5 years?Absent

Governance and resource

Multi-sectoral national co-ordination mechanism for obesity or nutrition (including obesity)?Present

Key

Present
Present (voluntary)
Incoming
Absent
Unknown

Last updated September 13, 2022

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Download contextual factors as a PDF Contextual factors definitions

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