Mal J Nutr 21(2): 191 - 205, 2015

Trends in Body Mass Index and its Determinants among Ever-married Non-pregnant Women in Bangladesh
Khan MN1, Mondal MNI1, Islam MR1, Al-Mamun MA2 & Shitan M3

ABSTRACT

Introduction: There is increasing prevalence of overweight ever-married non¬pregnant women while underweight women of the same category remain common. Thus, this study aimed to identify body mass index (BMI) trends as well as the determinants of nutritional status across urban and rural areas and Bangladesh as a whole over the survey years of Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey (BDHS) 2007 and 2011.
Method: The nationally representative samples of 9,241 and 14,975 ever-married non-pregnant women 15 to 49 years old were extracted from the BDHS 2007 and 2011, respectively. BMI was used as a proxy to measure nutritional status. Binary logistic regression models were fitted separately for urban and rural areas and Bangladesh as a whole to identify the changes in determinants.
Results: The prevalence of underweight women decreased 5.3% while the prevalence for overweight women increased 3.1% between the survey years of BDHS 2007 and 2011. Women in rural areas were found more likely to be underweight while the percentage of women with normal nutritional status was found to increase in the urban areas. Respondents' age, education, marital status, children ever born, wealth index, age at first birth, husbands' occupation and husbands' education were identified as the most important determinants of nutritional status in both the survey years.
Conclusion: The burden of underweight, and overweight to obese women in Bangladesh is strongly related to an individual's demographic and socio-economic position. These findings underscore the need for public health efforts aimed at combating underweight among women.

Keywords: Body mass index, Demographic and Health Survey, ever-married non-pregnant women, nutritional status

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