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To estimate the prevalence of underweight and overweight among Bangladeshi adults and to determine if the double burden of underweight and overweight differs by gender and other socio-economic characteristics of individuals.
We used data from the Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey 2011. Multinominal logistic regression was used to examine associations between the different nutritional statuses of individuals and related determinants. Interaction effect was checked between gender and various socio-economic factors.
Nationwide, covering the whole of Bangladesh.
Individuals aged >18 years (women, n 16 052; men, n 5090).
Underweight was observed among 28·3 % of men and 24·4 % of women, whereas overweight was observed among 8·4 % of men and 16·9 % of women. The odds of being overweight were significantly lower among urban men (OR=0·46; 95 % CI 0·37, 0·57) compared with urban women, whereas the odds of being underweight were significantly higher among urban men (OR=1·33; 95 % CI 1·07, 1·64) compared with urban women. The odds of being overweight were lower among higher educated men (OR=0·48; 95 % CI 0·39, 0·58) and men of rich households (OR=0·45; 95 % CI 0·37, 0·54) compared with higher educated women and women of rich households, respectively.
There are important gender differences in the prevalence of underweight and overweight among the adult population in Bangladesh. Women with higher education, in rich and urban households have higher chances of being overweight and lower chances of being underweight compared with their male counterparts.
BMI is a proxy for fat accumulation in the body. Increased diabetes and CVD risks have been observed for Asian populations at lower BMI than the WHO-recommended BMI cut-off points for overweight (≥25·0 kg/m2) and obesity (≥30·0 kg/m2). The current study aimed to quantify the increased hypertension (HTN) and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) prevalence in Bangladeshi adults with moderately increased BMI (23·0–24·9 kg/m2).
Data from the most recent Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey (2011) were analysed. Modified Poisson regression models with robust error variance were used to calculate prevalence ratios (PR) for HTN or T2DM by BMI category, considering BMI=18·5–22·9 kg/m2 as the reference. All analyses incorporated the complex sampling design of the survey.
BMI, blood pressure, blood sugar and related information were collected from a nationally representative sample.
Adults (n 7433) aged≥35 years.
About 12 % of Bangladeshi adults, both male and female, were within the BMI range 23·0–24·9 kg/m2 or moderately overweight. Compared with the reference BMI group (18·5–22·9 kg/m2), they had an increased PR for HTN (1·55–1·77) and T2DM (1·54–1·93). These increased PR are similar to those for the WHO-defined overweight group (BMI=25·0–29·9 kg/m2).
Our findings support the recommendation that calls for setting the optimum BMI for Asian populations to 18·5–23·0 kg/m2 for health promotion and for public health interventions like leisure-time physical activity. WHO cut-off points for overweight (≥25 kg/m2) should be used to facilitate international comparisons.
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