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Socioeconomic transition and its influence on Body Mass Index (BMI) pattern in Bangladesh

Category: Journal Articles


Raaj Kishore Biswas, Enamul Kabir, and Hafiz T.A. Khan (2018) Socioeconomic transition and its influence on Body Mass Index (BMI) pattern in Bangladesh. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice.

Rationale, aims, and objectives

Bangladesh is an underdeveloped country that has recently joined the ranks of low‐middle‐income countries. This study aims to investigate how socioeconomic and developmental factors have influenced women towards a shift in their body mass index (BMI).


The trend was analysed using data on ever‐married women from 6 nationwide surveys covering the years 1996 to 2014, conducted by the Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey (BDHS). To assess the relationship between the socioeconomic factors and BMI, binary regression models were fitted for 6 surveys and forest plots were applied to display the results.


Factors such as age, education, residence, economic status, and contraceptive use were found to have had an increasing influence on BMI over the years that were being analysed. Age and education for women were potential factors influencing BMI. Growing urbanization and economic inequality were found to have been substantial over time, and marital status and contraceptive use were influential whilst the employment status of women held no consequence.


Rapid urbanization allied with growing wealth inequality and dietary alteration seems to have forced a change in the capacity of women in Bangladesh to control their weight. Additional information is still needed on such factors as the amount of time that women are inactive and sitting down, for example, as well as their daily calorie intake in order to assemble all the pieces for addressing necessary health policy changes in Bangladesh. These factors will also help to indicate a shift of focus from rural malnutrition to urban obesity.

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