All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Irena Stepanikova

Advisory Committee Members

Elizabeth Baker

Joseph Wolfe

Gregory Pavela

Sadeep Shrestha

Document Type

Dissertation

Date of Award

2020

Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) College of Arts and Sciences

Abstract

The increasing prevalence of overweight and obesity in developing countries is a public health problem. Globally and in Nepal, women have higher burden of overweight and obesity. Over the recent years, Nepal has made progress in human development and is also experiencing nutrition transition. In this context, the goal of this study is to investigate the change in association between socioeconomic status (SES) and body weight over time, examine whether SES – body mass index (BMI) varies across region and occupation, and test for the double burden of malnutrition among adult women. Using a novel framework that integrates nutrition transition and fundamental cause theory, this study uses data obtained from three rounds of Nepal Demographic and Health Surveys (2006 – 2016). The analytic sample consists of 15,248 adult women. Linear regression models, multinomial logistic regression models, and logistic regression models are estimated. The results suggest that Nepal is in the fourth stage of nutrition transition and the association between SES and body weight is changing. The positive association of household wealth with BMI and obesity is getting stronger while the positive association of education with BMI, overweight, and obesity is getting weaker. The association between SES and BMI varies by region and occupation. Evidence for the double burden of malnutrition was not found in this study. The results show that the relationship of weight status to household wealth is dissimilar from its relationship to education. This finding highlights the need for examining changing effect of individual aspects of SES on body weight in the context of developing countries.

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