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Prevalence of Underweight, Overweight and Obesity and Their Associated Risk Factors in Nepalese Adults: Data From a Nationwide Survey, 2016
Authors: Lal B Rawal, Kie Kanda, Rashidul Alam Mahumud, Deepak Joshi, Suresh Mehata, Nipun Shrestha, Prakash Poudel, Surendra Karki, and Andre Renzaho
Source: PLOS ONE , 13(11): e0205912; DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0205912
Topic(s): Adult health
Country: Asia
Published: NOV 2018
Abstract: Introduction: Over the past few decades, the total population of Nepal has increased substantially with rapid urbanization, changing lifestyle and disease patterns. There is anecdotal evidence that non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and associated risk factors are becoming key public health challenges. Using nationally representative survey data, we estimated the prevalence of underweight, overweight and obesity among Nepalese adults and explored socio-demographic factors associated with these conditions. Materials and methods: We used the Nepal Demographic Health Survey 2016 data. Sample selection was based on stratified two-stage cluster sampling in rural areas and three stages in urban areas. Weight and height were measured in all adult women and men. Body mass index (BMI) was calculated using Asian specific BMI cut-points. Results: A total of 13,542 adults aged 18 years and above (women 58.19%) had their weight and height measured. The mean (±SD) age was 40.63±16.82 years (men 42.75±17.27, women 39.15±16.34); 41.13% had no formal education and 60.97% lived in urban areas. Overall, 17.27% (95% CI: 16.64-17.91) were underweight; 31.16% (95% CI: 30.38-31.94) overweight/obese. The prevalence of both underweight (women 18.30% and men 15.83%, p<0.001) and overweight/obesity (women 32.87% and men 28.77%, p<0.001) was higher among women. The older adults (=65 years) (aOR: 2.40, 95% CI: 1.92-2.99, p<0.001) and the adults of poorest wealth quintile (aOR: 2.05, 95% CI: 1.62-2.59, p<0.001) were more likely to be underweight. The younger age adults (36-45 years) (aOR: 3.05, 95% CI: 2.61-3.57, p<0.001) and women (aOR: 1.53, 95% CI 1.39-1.68, p<0.001) were more likely to be overweight or obese. Also, all adults were twice likely to overweight/obese (p<0.001). No significant difference was observed for overweight/obesity by ecological regions and place of residence (urban vs. rural). Conclusion: These findings confirm co-existence of double burden of underweight and overweight/obesity among Nepalese adults. These conditions are associated with increased risk of developing NCDs. Therefore, effective public health intervention approaches emphasizing improved primary health care systems for NCDs prevention and care and using multi-sectoral approach, is essential.