• Overview
  • Obesity prevalence
  • Population breakdowns
  • Drivers
  • Comorbidities
  • Health systems
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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, 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, 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.

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

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

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).

Health systems

Economic classification: Upper Middle Income

Health systems summary

The Iranian health system has undergone several reforms in the past few decades. Currently, there is considered to be universal coverage of primary care services, but there are continued challenges for secondary and tertiary care. Primary care is fully financed by the government. The “Health Network System” was established in 1986 to increase access to primary care, and now health networks are accessible to all and provide basic preventative and treatment services mostly free of charge. The fact that public coverage extends only to primary care is relatively unique.

The ‘Universal Health Insurance Act’ of 1994 resulted in improved insurance coverage for secondary and tertiary care - 95% of the population was considered to be covered by 2014. There are 4 main insurance organisations; one for employees of the formal private sector and their dependents, one for government employees, the self-employed, students and others, one for military personnel and finally, one for those with low-income. Criticisms of the insurance system include the multiple risk pools and differing benefit packages, resulting in great fragmentation. Out of pocket expenditure in Iran is estimated to be 50%.

Indicators

Where is the country’s government in the journey towards defining ‘Obesity as a disease’?Defined as disease
Where is the country’s healthcare provider in the journey towards defining ‘Obesity as a disease’?Some progress
Is there specialist training available dedicated to the training of health professionals to prevent, diagnose, treat and manage obesity?No
Have any taxes or subsidies been put in place to protect/assist/inform the population around obesity?No
Are there adequate numbers of trained health professionals in specialties relevant to obesity in urban areas?Yes
Are there adequate numbers of trained health professionals in specialties relevant to obesity in rural areas?Some progress
Are there any obesity-specific recommendations or guidelines published for adults?Yes
Are there any obesity-specific recommendations or guidelines published for children?Yes
In practice, how is obesity treatment largely funded?Not known

Perceived barriers to treatment

  • Lack of political will and interest
  • Lack of financial investment and funding for coverage
  • Fragmented and/or failing health system
  • Lack of multi-disciplinary teams
  • Poor health literacy & behaviour
  • Cultural norms and traditions

Summary of stakeholder feedback

It appears that obesity is high on the agenda in Iran. Stakeholders reported that the Ministry of Health is currently trying to raise awareness through education, with obesity health education provided in schools, hospitals and public places. Other prevention efforts noted included mandatory food labelling, but it is acknowledged that more needs to be done. Overall, it was agreed that the Ministry of Health and civil society in Iran were making a concerted effort to inform people about obesity and its effects on health.

There is also said to be some action at the healthcare provider level. At the primary care level, there are obesity services available and health education in the form of brochures. At the tertiary level, it was claimed that most hospitals had obesity clinics where there was a focus on treatment rather than prevention. It appears that a whole range of obesity treatment is covered by social insurance. However, stakeholders reported that in practice, treatment is paid for by insurance and out of pocket payments.

It was reported that it is fairly straightforward to enter the health system in Iran (although access is poorer in rural areas). In primary care, nutrition counselling is said to be available to all and from primary care, general practitioners can refer individuals onto tertiary care. This referral process however is said to not be well-established. There was no consensus on the BMI level that obesity treatment was started in Iran.

There is no specialist training in obesity medicine in Iran, except for a single obesity surgery fellowship. Obesity treatment is said to be most often left to endocrinologists.

Based on interviews/survey returns from 5 stakeholders

Last updated: June 2020

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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
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

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

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

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.

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