The prevalence of obesity associated risk factors and lifestyle physical activities were evaluated in 1218 Public Transport Drivers (Taxi drivers) of Tehran (capital of Iran). The degree of obesity evaluated by self-reported on kg/m2; lifestyle behaviors and demographic factors involve physical activity, marital status, house type, level of education, household income, smoking, sleep and rest status, family history of cardiovascular disease and eating attitudes by a questionnaire administrated by Adami and Corderra (2003) on Mediterranean eating style that was adopted with Iranian population lifestyle. Blood pressure measured with a handy sphygmomanometer. Range of age was between 21 to 71 years. Individuals under 35 years of age were classified as younger, from 36 to 50 as middle aged and over 50 as older. Overweight was defined as body mass index (BMI) = 25 to 29.9 kg/m2 and obesity as BMI >30 kg/m2. Hypertension was defined according to the WHO criteria as systolic BP >140 mm Hg, or diastolic BP >90 mm Hg, or both. Prevalence of obesity, overweight and both of them were 40.6%, 26.6%, and 67.2%, respectively. Prevalence of obesity, overweight and high blood pressure significantly increases with increase of aging, household income, family members, and low level of education and physical activity (p<0.05). In all age groups, there was significant association between obesity and high blood pressure (p<0.0001). Highest prevalence of obesity (50.3%) and high BP (71.1%) were observed in older group. Obese persons in all groups had high BP (p<0.05). Furthermore, significant relationship was observed between body mass index and many food consumption habits, for example using high-fat foods, candies, snacks, desserts, and negative relationship with spending work and leisure time physical activities and being careful about what and how much is eaten. According to these findings, it seems that it is imperative to avoid obesity as a main general health risk factor, and also reinforcing cognitive patterns and promoting Iranian lifestyle behaviors such as increase of leisure time physical activities and reformation of eating habits may be effective in the fight against hypertension and obesity.
obesity, lifestyle behaviors, physical activity, hypertension
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