Trends in the Prevalence of Overweight and Obesity Among Women of Reproductive Age

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BACKGROUND: Information on trends in the prevalence of overweight and obesity and the high-risk groups helps plan health promotion programmes and health policy. This study examined trends in overweight and obesity from 2006 to 2016 and the associated socio-demographic factors in 2016 among 20 to 49-year-old women in Nepal. METHODS: Nationally representative cross-sectional data were used from three Demographic and Health Surveys conducted in 2006 (n=7809), 2011 (n=4561), and 2016 (n=4904) in Nepal. Bodyweight and height were measured by trained personnel. Overweight was defined as 23.0 to 27.5 kg/m2 and obesity as >27.5 kg/m2 based on Asian-specific criteria in the main analyses. Multinomial logistic regression models were adjusted for age, parity, education, and wealth index. RESULTS: The prevalence of overweight increased from 16.6% to 26.8% and obesity from 3.9% to 14.3% between 2006 and 2016. The adjusted odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were 2.26 (2.06 to 2.49) for overweight and 5.26 (4.48 to 6.18) for obesity in 2016 compared with 2006. Age 30 to 49 years, higher wealth index, parity 1 to 3 and education were associated with a higher prevalence of overweight and obesity, whereas the association between the area of residence (urban/rural) and prevalence of overweight or obesity was not statistically significant. CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of overweight and obesity increased among Nepalese women of reproductive age between 2006 and 2016. More research is needed on how to prevent overweight and obesity among women, especially women aged 30 to 49 years or with higher wealth, in Nepal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)252-258
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nepal Health Research Council
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Nepal; obesity; overweight; trend; women.

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 0

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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