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Trends, prevalence and risk factors of overweight and obesity among women of reproductive age in Bangladesh: a pooled analysis of five national cross-sectional surveys
  1. Muhammad Abdul Baker Chowdhury1,
  2. Md Mohiuddin Adnan2,
  3. Md Zakiul Hassan3
  1. 1 Department of Emergency Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA
  2. 2 Department of Data Science, School of Population Health, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, Mississippi, USA
  3. 3 Programme for Emerging Infections, Infectious Diseases Division, International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Dhaka, Bangladesh
  1. Correspondence to Muhammad Abdul Baker Chowdhury; mchow023{at}


Objective To determine the trends, prevalence and risk factors of overweight and obesity among Bangladeshi women of reproductive age from 1999 to 2014.

Design We analysed nationally representative data from the 1999, 2004, 2007, 2011 and 2014 cross-sectional Bangladesh Demographic and Health Surveys.

Setting Bangladesh.

Participants Women aged 15–49 years.

Primary outcome Overweight/obesity.

Results A total of 58 192 women were included in the analysis. The prevalence of overweight and obesity among women of reproductive age increased significantly from 7.53% (95% CI 6.83 to 8.29) and 1.82% (95% CI 1.48 to 2.24) in 1999 to 28.37% (95% CI 27.49 to 29.28) and 10.77% (95% CI 10.22 to 11.35) in 2014, respectively. Age, education, wealth index, watching television and contraceptive use were associated with overweight and obesity in both urban and rural areas.

Conclusions Overweight and obesity prevalence increased significantly among Bangladeshi women of reproductive age between 1999 and 2014. Development of effective low-cost strategies to address the increasing burden of obesity should be a high priority.

  • body mass index (BMI)
  • overweight
  • obesity
  • trends
  • BDHS
  • Bangladesh

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  • Contributors MABC conceptualised the study and designed the analytical approach, performed the data analyses and interpreted the findings, and led the writing of the article. MMA was involved in the literature search and drafting of the manuscript. MZH helped conceptualise the study literature, variable selection, edited and drafted the manuscript, revised the manuscript critically for important intellectual content, and helped in the final approval of the version to be submitted. All authors helped write the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

  • Funding This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Ethics approval All BDHS surveys received ethical approval from the ICF Macro Institutional Review Board, Maryland, USA, and the National Research Ethics Committee of the Bangladesh Medical Research Council (BMRC), Dhaka, Bangladesh. Informed consent was obtained from each participant of the survey before enrolling in the survey by using the Introduction and Consent form of the survey. It was also explained that the information will be kept strictly confidential and will not be shared with anyone except with the members of the survey team.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement The data sets used for the current study are publicly available at

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