Department of Pediatrics, Child Growth and Development Research Center, Research Institute for Primordial Prevention of Non-Communicable Disease, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

1 Department of Urology, School of Medicine, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran
2 Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Modeling in Health Research Center, Institute for Futures Studies in Health, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran
3 Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, School of Medicine, Physiology Research Center, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran



Only a few studies have attempted to assess the relationship between junk food consumption and cardiometabolic risk factors in Iranian children and adolescents; therefore, the aim of our study was to determine the association between junk food intake and cardiometabolic risk factors in this population.

Study design

This is a cross-sectional study.


A total of 14,400 students were selected from 30 provinces of Iran using multistage, stratified cluster sampling method. Information about student’s lifestyle, health behaviors and health status was obtained through a validated questionnaire. Blood pressure was measured and anthropometric indices were calculated. Blood samples were drawn from 3,303 students for biochemical tests. In our study, sugar-sweetened beverages, salty snacks, sweets and fast foods were considered as junk foods.


The mean age of participants was 12.42 ± 2.97 years. Those with metabolic syndrome were more likely to live in urban areas (P = 0.004) and have higher BMI (P < 0.0001). Junk food intake was not related to metabolic syndrome; however, it was associated with increased odds of high BP (OR 1.23, 95% CI 1.09, 1.39), high SBP (OR 1.38, 95% CI 1.09, 1.75), and high DBP (OR 1.18, 95% CI 1.04, 1.35), overweight (OR 1.22, 95% CI 1.08, 1.39) and excess weight (OR 1.14, 95% CI 1.04, 1.25).


Junk food consumption plays an important role in childhood overweight and is related to high blood pressure in this population.