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The escalating prevalence of overweight and obesity globally is reflected amongst urban women in many low-to-middle income countries. Evidence also shows that overweight and obesity is an increasing trend in Bangladesh. The present study assessed the prevalence and socioeconomic determinants of overweight and obesity among urban women in Bangladesh.
Data were extracted from Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey (BDHS) 2014. A two-stage stratified sampling technique has been used for data collection in this cross-sectional survey. A sample of 1701 ever-married non-pregnant urban women aged 15–49 years was selected for statistical analysis. Descriptive analysis, multiple binomial logistic regression analysis were executed in this study.
The prevalence of overweight and obesity was 34% (95% CI, 0.30–0.38) among urban Bangladeshi women. The probability of being overweight and obese increased with increasing age and wealth index. The likelihood of being overweight and obese among the oldest women surveyed (40–49 years) was 4.3 times (OR = 4.3, 95% CI: 2.1–8.8) higher relative to the youngest women (15–19 years). The wealthiest women had 4.1 times (OR = 4.1, 95% CI: 2.5–6.7) higher likelihood of being overweight and obese compared to the reference group of poorest women. Women having higher education (OR = 1.7, 95% CI: 1.0–2.6) were more likely to be overweight and obese. However, women who were no longer living with their husband or separated from their husband were (OR = 0.4, 95% CI: 0.2–0.8) less likely to be overweight and obese.
This study provides evidence that a large number of urban women were overweight and obese in Bangladesh. Women having higher levels of education, being older and belonging in both poorer and richest wealth quintile were at risk of being overweight and obese. Appropriate health promoting interventions based on these factors should be envisaged to reduce this problem.