Prevalence, Trends and associated socio-economic factors of obesity in South Asia

Ranil Jayawardena, Nuala M. Byrne, Mario J. Soares, Prasad Katulanda, Andrew P. Hills

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Aim: Worldwide obesity levels have increased unprecedentedly over the past couple of decades. Although the prevalence, trends and associated socio-economic factors of the condition have been extensively reported in Western populations, less is known regarding South Asian populations. Methods: A review of articles using Medline with combinations of the MeSH terms: 'Obesity', 'Overweight' and 'Abdominal Obesity' limiting to epidemiology and South Asian countries. Results: Despite methodological heterogeneity and variation according to country, area of residence and gender , the most recent nationally representative and large regional data demonstrates that without any doubt there is a epidemic of obesity, overweight and abdominal obesity in South Asian countries. Prevalence estimates of overweight and obesity (based on Asian cut-offs: overweight ≥ 23 kg/m2, obesity ≥ 25 kg/m2) ranged from 3.5% in rural Bangladesh to over 65% in the Maldives. Abdominal obesity was more prevalent than general obesity in both sexes in this ethnic group. Countries with the lowest prevalence had the highest upward trend of obesity. Socio-economic factors associated with greater obesity in the region included female gender, middle age, urban residence, higher educational and economic status. Conclusion: South Asia is significantly affected by the obesity epidemic. Collaborative public health interventions to reverse these trends need to be mindful of many socio-economic constraints in order to provide long-term solutions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)405-414
Number of pages10
JournalObesity Facts
Volume6
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013
Externally publishedYes

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South Asia
economic factors
Obesity
Economics
trend
Abdominal Obesity
Maldives
gender
epidemiology
Bangladesh
economics
ethnic group
public health
Indian Ocean Islands
Educational Status
Ethnic Groups
Population
Epidemiology
Public Health

Cite this

Jayawardena, R., Byrne, N. M., Soares, M. J., Katulanda, P., & Hills, A. P. (2013). Prevalence, Trends and associated socio-economic factors of obesity in South Asia. Obesity Facts, 6(5), 405-414. https://doi.org/10.1159/000355598
Jayawardena, Ranil ; Byrne, Nuala M. ; Soares, Mario J. ; Katulanda, Prasad ; Hills, Andrew P. / Prevalence, Trends and associated socio-economic factors of obesity in South Asia. In: Obesity Facts. 2013 ; Vol. 6, No. 5. pp. 405-414.
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Jayawardena, R, Byrne, NM, Soares, MJ, Katulanda, P & Hills, AP 2013, 'Prevalence, Trends and associated socio-economic factors of obesity in South Asia' Obesity Facts, vol. 6, no. 5, pp. 405-414. https://doi.org/10.1159/000355598

Prevalence, Trends and associated socio-economic factors of obesity in South Asia. / Jayawardena, Ranil; Byrne, Nuala M.; Soares, Mario J.; Katulanda, Prasad; Hills, Andrew P.

In: Obesity Facts, Vol. 6, No. 5, 10.2013, p. 405-414.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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Jayawardena R, Byrne NM, Soares MJ, Katulanda P, Hills AP. Prevalence, Trends and associated socio-economic factors of obesity in South Asia. Obesity Facts. 2013 Oct;6(5):405-414. https://doi.org/10.1159/000355598