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Trends and Correlates of Overweight among Pre-School Age Children, Adolescent Girls, and Adult Women in South Asia: An Analysis of Data from Twelve National Surveys in Six Countries over Twenty Years

1
Yale School of Public Health, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06515, USA
2
Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University, Boston, MA 02111, USA
3
United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Programme Division, New York, NY 10017, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2019, 11(8), 1899; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11081899
Received: 2 July 2019 / Revised: 2 August 2019 / Accepted: 7 August 2019 / Published: 14 August 2019
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Abstract

Overweight has become a global pandemic and is associated with a rise in diet-related non-communicable diseases and associated co-morbidities. Most of the world’s undernourished people live in South Asia, yet the number of overweight and obese individuals in this region is growing. This study explores trends and correlates of overweight among pre-school age children, adolescent girls, and adult women in South Asia. Using pooled data from 12 national surveys in six countries, generalized linear mixed models were run to analyze relationships. Overweight children had significantly higher odds than non-overweight children of having an overweight mother (Adjusted Odds Ratio: 1.34, p < 0.01). Overweight adolescent girls were more likely to come from a wealthier household (Adjusted Prevalence Ratio (APR): 2.46, p < 0.01) in an urban area (1.74, p < 0.01), and have formal education (1.22, p < 0.01), compared to non-overweight girls. Similar relationships were seen among overweight vs. non-overweight adult women. In Bangladesh, India, and Nepal, overweight among girls and women increased over time, while differentials associated with household wealth, urban residence, and formal education attenuated over time. Overweight and obesity are becoming more prevalent across South Asia in a context of persisting undernutrition. Once a condition of the wealthier, more educated and urban, rates of overweight are increasing among poorer, less educated, and rural women. This requires immediate attention to ‘multi-use’ policies and programmes. View Full-Text
Keywords: South Asia; overweight; malnutrition; children; adolescent girls; women South Asia; overweight; malnutrition; children; adolescent girls; women
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Harding, K.L.; Aguayo, V.M.; Webb, P. Trends and Correlates of Overweight among Pre-School Age Children, Adolescent Girls, and Adult Women in South Asia: An Analysis of Data from Twelve National Surveys in Six Countries over Twenty Years. Nutrients 2019, 11, 1899.

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