Change in the Body Mass Index Distribution for Women



Analysis of Surveys from 37 Low- and Middle-Income Countries

Razak F, Corsi DJ, SV Subramanian (2013)
 PLoS Med 10(1): e1001367. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001367

Available online at: http://bit.ly/U1Dogn

“…..There are well-documented global increases in mean body mass index (BMI) and prevalence of overweight (BMI≥25.0 kg/m2) and obese (BMI≥30.0 kg/m2). Previous analyses, however, have failed to report whether this weight gain is shared equally across the population. We examined the change in BMI across all segments of the BMI distribution in a wide range of countries, and assessed whether the BMI distribution is changing between cross-sectional surveys conducted at different time points.

Methods and Findings

We used nationally representative surveys of women between 1991–2008, in 37 low- and middle-income countries from the Demographic Health Surveys
([DHS] n = 732,784). There were a total of 96 country-survey cycles, and the number of survey cycles per country varied between two (21/37) and five (1/37).
Using multilevel regression models, between countries and within countries over survey cycles, the change in mean BMI was used to predict the standard deviation of BMI, the prevalence of underweight, overweight, and obese. Changes in median BMI were used to predict the 5th and 95th percentile of the BMI distribution.

Quantile-quantile plots were used to examine the change in the BMI distribution between surveys conducted at different times within countries. At the population level, increasing mean BMI is related to increasing standard deviation of BMI, with the BMI at the 95th percentile rising at approximately 2.5 times the rate of the 5th percentile. Similarly, there is an approximately 60% excess increase in prevalence of overweight and 40% excess in obese, relative to the decline in prevalence of underweight.

Quantile-quantile plots demonstrate a consistent pattern of unequal weight gain across percentiles of the BMI distribution as mean BMI increases, with increased weight gain at high percentiles of the BMI distribution and little change at low percentiles. Major limitations of these results are that repeated population surveys cannot examine weight gain within an individual over time, most of the countries only had data from two surveys and the study sample only contains women in low- and middle-income countries, potentially limiting generalizability of findings.


Conclusions

Mean changes in BMI, or in single parameters such as percent overweight, do not capture the divergence in the degree of weight gain occurring between BMI at low and high percentiles. Population weight gain is occurring disproportionately among groups with already high baseline BMI levels. Studies that characterize population change should examine patterns of change across the entire distribution and not just

 

Despair can lead people to disastrous path: Dr Binayak Sen


BANGALORE – Speaking at the 6th Henry Volken Memorial lecture at Indian Social Institute in Bangalore Dr.Binayak Sen said that the weak has to develop internal strength to do politics otherwise the wide spread despair can lead people to disastrous path.

He said that democracy is about governance by consent and it cannot be reduced to series of election. He further said that for this very purpose social mobilization has to be constant and running theme of democracy.

Citing the recent hunger death of tea workers in Bengal Dr.Sen said that these starvation death and tragic death like these need to be contextualized and must not be seen in isolation.

Referring to Prime Minister’s latest remark on Malnutrition as National Shame he asked that if Child Malnutrition is shame then what to say about Adult Malnutrition which is equally rampant and about which we never talk.

Dr.Sen also argued in his lecture that Famine is not about shortage of grain, citing the case of Bengal Famine of 1943 he said that there was not shortage of food grains and all those boats carrying the grains were savaged by direct orders from British Raj

He said that Body mass index is very low in this country and 37 % has BMI less than 18.5 and if 40 % of population has low BMI then it is referred as state of famine and we are near to it.

‘National grain consumption has seen a fall of 110 kg in from 880 kg to 770 kg’, he added. ‘This famine is getting worse’. ‘The incident of hunger death of those tea workers at Dhekla pal is just the tip of iceberg’ He said.

Referring to various resistance movements in the country he said that ‘resistance is only way for these community’. ‘The struggle against POSCO in Odisha is an admirable one’ he added

He criticized the public policy practices in the country and urged that this must be directed towards well being of its citizen which is possible through equity.

Source- Newzfirst

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