|Association between the frequency of television watching and overweight and obesity among women of reproductive age in Nepal: Analysis of data from the Nepal Demographic and Health Survey 2016|
||Rajat Das Gupta, Shams Shabab Haider, Mohammad Rashidul Hashan, Mehedi Hasan, Ipsita Sutradhar, Ibrahim Hossain Sajal, Hemraj Joshi, Mohammad Rifat Haider, and Malabika Sarker
||PLOS ONE , 15(2): e0228862; DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0228862
Body Mass Index (BMI)
The prevalence of overweight and obesity, particularly among women, is increasing in Nepal. Previous studies in the South Asia have found television watching to be a risk factor for overweight and obesity among women of reproductive age. However, this association had not been studied in the context of Nepal. This study aims to identify the association between frequency of television watching and overweight and obesity among Nepalese women of reproductive age.
This cross-sectional study utilized the Nepal Demographic and Health Survey 2016 (NDHS 2016) data. A total weighted sample of 6,031 women were included in the final analyses. The women were 15–49 years of age and were either not pregnant or had not delivered a child within the two months prior to the survey. Body mass index (BMI) was the primary outcome of this study, which was categorized using an Asia-specific cutoff value. Normal and/or underweight was defined as a BMI <23.0 kg/m2, overweight was defined as a BMI between 23.0 kg/m2 and <27.5 kg/m2, and obesity was defined as a BMI =27.5 kg/m2. Frequency of watching television was the main independent variable of this study, which was divided into the following three categories: not watching television at all, watching television less than once a week, and watching television at least once a week. Multilevel ordered logistic regression was conducted to find the factors associated with overweight and obesity. A p-value <0.05 was considered significant in the final model.
Around 35% of the participants were overweight or obese (overweight: 23.7% and obese: 11.6%). A majority of the study participants was aged between 15 and 24 years (36.5%), and resided in an urban area (63.2%), Province No. 3 (22.3%), and the Terai ecological region (49.5%). Around one-third (34.0%) of the participants received no formal education while an almost similar proportion (35.5%) completed secondary education. Approximately half of the study participants (50.6%) reported watching television at least once a week, whereas more than a quarter (28.7%) of them did not watch television at all. Women who watched television at least once a day had a higher prevalence of overweight and obesity than the other groups (p-value <0.0001). Women who watched television at least once a week were 1.3 times more likely to be overweight or obese in comparison to women who never watched television (Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR): 1.3, 95% CI: 1.0–1.7; p-value <0.05). In the urban areas, women who watched television at least once a week were 40% more likely to be overweight or obese than those who did not watch television at all (AOR: 1.4, 95% CI: 1.1–1.7; p-value <0.01). No significant association between overweight and obesity and the frequency of viewing television was observed in the rural area.
Watching television at least once a week is associated with overweight and obesity in women of reproductive age living in the urban areas of Nepal. Public health promotion programs should raise awareness among women regarding harmful health consequences of sedentary lifestyle due to television watching.