Underweight, Overweight and Obesity among Reproductive Bangladeshi Women: A Nationwide Survey

Nutrients. 2021 Dec 9;13(12):4408. doi: 10.3390/nu13124408.


The double burden of malnutrition is becoming more prevalent among Bangladeshi women. Underweight, overweight, and obesity were examined among women aged 15-49 years using the 2017-2018 Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey (BDHS). A dataset of 20,127 women aged 15-49 years with complete Body Mass Index (BMI) measurements were extracted and categorized as underweight, normal weight, overweight, and obesity. A multiple logistic regression that adjusts for clustering and sampling weights was used to examine underweight, overweight, and obesity among reproductive age Bangladeshi women. Our analyses revealed that the odds of being overweight and obese were higher among women who completed primary and secondary or more levels of education, rich households, breastfeeding women, and women exposed to media (newspapers and television (TV). Women from the poorest households were significantly more likely to be underweight (AOR = 3.86, 95%CI: 2.94-5.07) than women from richer households. The likelihood of being underweight was higher among women with no schooling, adolescent women, and women not using contraceptives. Conclusions: Overweight and obesity was higher among educated and affluent women while underweight was higher among women from low socioeconomic status, indicating that tailored messages to combat overweight and obesity should target educated and affluent Bangladeshi women while improving nutrition among women from low socioeconomic status.

Keywords: Demographic Health Survey (DHS); body mass index (BMI); nutrition; obesity; women.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Asian People
  • Bangladesh / epidemiology
  • Body Mass Index
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Health Surveys*
  • Humans
  • Malnutrition / epidemiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Overweight / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Reproduction
  • Socioeconomic Factors*
  • Thinness / epidemiology*
  • Women's Health*
  • Young Adult