1Researcher, Infectious and Tropical DiseasesResearch Center, Zoonosis and HSR Research Committee, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran
2Instructor, Leishmaniasis Research Center, Zoonosis and HSRResearch Committee, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran
3Instructor, Zoonosis and HSR Research Committee, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran
4Researcher, Neuroscience Research Center, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran
5Researcher, H.S.R. Research Committee, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran
Background & Aims: Assessment of physical growth is one of the most important methods of determining nutrition and health status. Body mass index (BMI) is a suitable index for growth monitoring and helpsin the identification of growth disorders and malnutrition in teenagers. The aim of thisstudy wastodetermine BMI statusin secondary school studentsin Kerman, Iran, in 2012. Methods: This was a descriptive-analytic study in which data were collected cross-sectionally and compared with the results of the study in 1997. After gaining permission from the Department of Education of Kerman, the samples were selected randomly from the secondary schoolsin Kerman. Height and weight were measured by standard tools. Data were analyzed through SPSS software and using Students' independent ttest. Results: Mean BMI of the students(n = 424) was 19 ± 4.2 and 44.8% ofstudents had normal BMI. Mean BMI of boys wassignificantly lower than girls. In total, 6% of the students were excessively thin and they were mainly from public schoolsin the suburb of the city. Over 50% ofstudents had weight problems; underweight wasthe main problem in the studied population and only 9.2% of oursubjects were overweight. Conclusion: Since the pubertal height and weight growth spurt occurs earlier in girls(10-13 years) than boys, the absolute comparison of BMI based on sex is not wise; if necessary itshould to be performed after this period. Malnutrition or lack of accessto food, or cultural factors and body shape care could explain our findingsin regard to the distribution of BMI in the student population of Kerman.