Obesity is increasing among the younger generation in Bangladesh
12:00 AM, September 23, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:04 AM, December 25, 2018

Obesity is increasing among the younger generation in Bangladesh

Obesity and overweight are considered both non-communicable diseases and risk factors. Obesity and overweight increase the risk of diabetes, cancer and cardio-vascular diseases (CVD).

A study, led by the Imperial College London and the World Health Organisation (WHO), established experts' apprehension that Bangladesh is facing the ‘dual burden’ of both malnutrition and obesity. The study calculated and compared body mass index (BMI) among children, adolescents and adults from 1975 to 2016.

The increasing rates in children are especially worrying as children are not fully developed and more vulnerable; childhood obesity can cause serious chronic complications further in life.

In 1980, 7% of adults and 3% of children were overweight or obese in Bangladesh. In 2013, those rates had climbed to 17% for adults but only 4.5% for children — according to The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) of the University of Washington.

A research published in “BMC Paediatrics” journal explored the “Prevalence of childhood obesity and overweight in Bangladesh: findings from a countrywide epidemiological study”.

They concluded that the rate of obesity and overweight was alarming among school aged children in the urban areas in Bangladesh. Overweight and underweight were coexisting which needs special attention to minimise the dual burden.

Overweight and obesity is associated with increased total mortality and increased risk of disease or death from cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and several types of cancer. It does so by increasing high blood pressure, blood cholesterol, insulin resistance and inflammation as well as hormone levels.

Physical activity at work, walking, and, in some populations, bicycling used to be major contributors to total energy expenditure but have declined dramatically in urban societies.

Globally, 1 in 4 adults, and 3 in 4 adolescents (aged 11–17 years), do not currently meet the global recommendations for physical activity set by WHO.

According to the WHO-Diabetes country profile of Bangladesh in 2016, the physical inactivity was prevailing among 25.1% of population.

The recent trend of obesity among Bangladeshi young generation is very high. Due to the influence of western lifestyle, the internet, children are more likely to consume fast food and other junk foods.

The impact of obesity is alarming — early onset of NCDs and in some cases fatal incidents are occurring. NCD deaths are projected to increase by 15% globally between 2010 and 2020.


E-mail: tareq.salahuddin@thedailystar.net

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