Sex differences in obesity, dietary habits, and physical activity among urban middle-class Bangladeshis. International journal of health sciences Saquib, J., Saquib, N., Stefanick, M. L., Khanam, M. A., Anand, S., Rahman, M., Chertow, G. M., Barry, M., Ahmed, T., Cullen, M. R. 2016; 10 (3): 363-372


The sustained economic growth in Bangladesh during the previous decade has created a substantial middle-class population, who have adequate income to spend on food, clothing, and lifestyle management. Along with the improvements in living standards, has also come negative impact on health for the middle class. The study objective was to assess sex differences in obesity prevalence, diet, and physical activity among urban middle-class Bangladeshi.In this cross-sectional study, conducted in 2012, we randomly selected 402 adults from Mohammedpur, Dhaka. The sampling technique was multi-stage random sampling. We used standardized questionnaires for data collection and measured height, weight, and waist circumference.Mean age (standard deviation) was 49.4 (12.7) years. The prevalence of both generalized (79% vs. 53%) and central obesity (85% vs. 42%) were significantly higher in women than men. Women reported spending more time watching TV and spending less time walking than men (p<.05); however, men reported a higher intake of unhealthy foods such as fast food and soft drinks.We conclude that the prevalence of obesity is significantly higher in urban middle-class Bangladeshis than previous urban estimates, and the burden of obesity disproportionately affects women. Future research and public health efforts are needed to address this severe obesity problem and to promote active lifestyles.

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