Prevalence of underweight, overweight and obesity and their associated risk factors in Nepalese adults: data from a Nationwide Survey, 2016

Rawal, Lal B. and Kanda, Kie and Mahumud, Rashidul Alam and Joshi, Deepak and Mehata, Suresh and Shrestha, Nipun and Poudel, Prakash and Karki, Surendra and Renzaho, Andre (2018) Prevalence of underweight, overweight and obesity and their associated risk factors in Nepalese adults: data from a Nationwide Survey, 2016. PLoS One, 13 (11-Article e0205912).

Text (Published Version)
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

Download (1125Kb) | Preview


Over the past few decades, the total population of Nepal has increased substantially with rapid urbanization, changing lifestyle and disease patterns. There is anecdotal evidence that non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and associated risk factors are becoming key public health challenges. Using nationally representative survey data, we estimated the prevalence of underweight, overweight and obesity among Nepalese adults and explored socio-demographic factors associated with these conditions.

Materials and methods:
We used the Nepal Demographic Health Survey 2016 data. Sample selection was based on stratified two-stage cluster sampling in rural areas and three stages in urban areas. Weight and height were measured in all adult women and men. Body mass index (BMI) was calculated using Asian specific BMI cut-points.

A total of 13,542 adults aged 18 years and above (women 58.19%) had their weight and height measured. The mean (±SD) age was 40.63±16.82 years (men 42.75±17.27, women 39.15±16.34); 41.13% had no formal education and 60.97% lived in urban areas. Overall, 17.27% (95% CI: 16.64–17.91) were underweight; 31.16% (95% CI: 30.38–31.94) overweight/obese. The prevalence of both underweight (women 18.30% and men 15.83%, p<0.001) and overweight/obesity (women 32.87% and men 28.77%, p<0.001) was higher among women. The older adults (≥65 years) (aOR: 2.40, 95% CI: 1.92–2.99, p<0.001) and the adults of poorest wealth quintile (aOR: 2.05, 95% CI: 1.62–2.59, p<0.001) were more likely to be underweight. The younger age adults (36–45 years) (aOR: 3.05, 95% CI: 2.61–3.57, p<0.001) and women (aOR: 1.53, 95% CI 1.39–1.68, p<0.001) were more likely to be overweight or obese. Also, all adults were twice likely to overweight/obese (p<0.001). No significant difference was observed for overweight/obesity by ecological regions and place of residence (urban vs. rural).

These findings confirm co-existence of double burden of underweight and overweight/obesity among Nepalese adults. These conditions are associated with increased risk of developing NCDs. Therefore, effective public health intervention approaches emphasizing improved primary health care systems for NCDs prevention and care and using multi-sectoral approach, is essential.

Statistics for USQ ePrint 35689
Statistics for this ePrint Item
Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Copyright: © 2018 Rawal et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Commerce
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2019 04:48
Last Modified: 05 Feb 2019 02:19
Fields of Research : 14 Economics > 1402 Applied Economics > 140208 Health Economics
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0205912

Actions (login required)

View Item Archive Repository Staff Only