Study Site: Tehran, Iran
Institution: Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences
Principal Investigators: Goodarz Danaei, Reza Malekzadeh
Co-Investigators: Farshad Farzadfar, Ahmad Reza Dorosti

Iran at a Glance


Area: 1,648,195 sq km
Population: 79 million
Median age: total 28.3 years
Urban population: 72.9% of total population
Life expectancy: male 72 yr ; female 78 yr
Diabetes prevalence:  11.4% (national prevalence)
Per capita GDP: $11,137
Languages: Persian, Azeri Turkic and Turkic dialects, Kurdish, Gilaki and Mazandarani, Luri, Balochi, Arabic

In Iran, staple foods include white rice and flat bread, which make up the largest proportion of calorie and protein intake. People will eat flat bread, with or without white rice, two to three times a day. These grains are usually eaten with other foods (e.g., broth, grilled meats) during regular meal times (breakfast, lunch and dinner), but sometimes they may be eaten as a snack as well. Traditional Iranian diet is rich in vegetables, herbs, nuts, fruits and yogurt while the modern Iranian diet includes more white rice, meats, and desserts/sweets.


Malekzadeh R. Global burden of disease study 2010: A real advance in global descriptive epidemiology: Perspective for developing countries. Arch Iran Med. 2014; 17(5): 302-3.

IDF Diabetes Atlas, 6th Edition. Brussels, Belgium: International Diabetes Federation, 2014.

The World Factbook, 2013-2014. Washington, DC: Central Intelligence Agency, 2013.

World Population Prospects: The 2012 Revision. New York, NY: Population Division, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Estimates by Country 1950-2015. Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), 2012.