• Overview
  • Obesity prevalence
  • Trends over time
  • Population breakdowns
  • Drivers
  • Comorbidities
  • Health systems
Loading data – please wait …

Obesity prevalence

Adults, 2018

Survey type:Measured
Age:18-69
Sample size:7985
Area covered:National
References:National STEPS Survey for Non-communicable Diseases Risk Factors in Bangladesh 2018. National Institute of Preventive and Social Medicine (NIPSOM) Mohakhali, Dhaka1212 Available at https://extranet.who.int/ncdsmicrodata/index.php/catalog/770 (last accessed 05.10.200)
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Women, 2014

Survey type:Measured
Age:15-49
Sample size:16478
Area covered:National
References:Demographic Health Survey Bangladesh 2014. http://www.dhsprogram.com/publications/publication-FR311-DHS-Final-Reports.cfm (last accessed 11th April 2016)
Notes:Demographic Health Survey data includes ever married women aged 15-49 years only and may include males aged 15-59.
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Adults, 2011

Survey type:Measured
Sample size:17416
Area covered:National
References:DHS 2011
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Women, 2007

Survey type:Measured
Age:15-49
Sample size:10021
Area covered:National
References:Demographics Health Survey 2007.
Notes:Other married women 15 - 49 years.
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Women, 1995-1996

Survey type:Measured
Age:15-49
Sample size:3997
References:Martorell R, Khan LK, Hughes ML, Grummer Strawn LM. Obesity in women from developing countries. EJCN (2000) 54;247-252
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Children, 2014

Survey type:Self-reported
Age:13-17
Sample size:2989
Area covered:National
References:Global School-based Student Health Survey (GSHS), available at https://www.who.int/ncds/surveillance/gshs/2014-Bangladesh-fact-sheet.pdf?ua=1 (last accessed 24.11.20)
Notes:WHO cutoffs.
Cutoffs:WHO

Children, 2009

Survey type:Measured
Age:6-15
Sample size:10135
Area covered:National
References:Bulbul T and Hoque M. 2014. Prevalence of childhood obesity and overweight in Bangladesh: findings from a countrywide epidemiological study. BMC Pediatr. 1;14:86.
Notes:Z score BMI cut-offs used
Cutoffs:WHO

Overweight/obesity by education

Adults, 2018

Survey type:Measured
Age:18-69
Sample size:7985
Area covered:National
References:National STEPS Survey for Non-communicable Diseases Risk Factors in Bangladesh 2018. National Institute of Preventive and Social Medicine (NIPSOM) Mohakhali, Dhaka1212 Available at https://extranet.who.int/ncdsmicrodata/index.php/catalog/770 (last accessed 05.10.20)
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Women, 2014

Survey type:Measured
Age:15-49
Sample size:16478
Area covered:National
References:Demographic Health Survey Bangladesh 2014. http://www.dhsprogram.com/publications/publication-FR311-DHS-Final-Reports.cfm
Notes:Demographic Health Survey data includes ever married women aged 15-49 years only and may include males aged 15-59.
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Overweight/obesity by age

Adults, 2018

Survey type:Measured
Sample size:7985
Area covered:National
References:National STEPS Survey for Non-communicable Diseases Risk Factors in Bangladesh 2018. National Institute of Preventive and Social Medicine (NIPSOM) Mohakhali, Dhaka1212 Available at https://extranet.who.int/ncdsmicrodata/index.php/catalog/770 (last accessed 05.10.200)
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Women, 2014

Survey type:Measured
Sample size:16478
Area covered:National
References:Demographic Health Survey Bangladesh 2014. http://www.dhsprogram.com/publications/publication-FR311-DHS-Final-Reports.cfm
Notes:Demographic Health Survey data includes ever married women aged 15-49 years only and may include males aged 15-59.
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Overweight/obesity by region

Adults, 2018

Survey type:Measured
Age:18-69
Sample size:7985
Area covered:National
References:National STEPS Survey for Non-communicable Diseases Risk Factors in Bangladesh 2018. National Institute of Preventive and Social Medicine (NIPSOM) Mohakhali, Dhaka1212 Available at https://extranet.who.int/ncdsmicrodata/index.php/catalog/770 (last accessed 05.10.20)
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Women, 2014

Survey type:Measured
Age:15-49
Sample size:16478
Area covered:National
References:Demographic Health Survey Bangladesh 2014. http://www.dhsprogram.com/publications/publication-FR311-DHS-Final-Reports.cfm
Notes:Demographic Health Survey data includes ever married women aged 15-49 years only and may include males aged 15-59.
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Women, 2014

Survey type:Measured
Age:15-49
Sample size:16478
Area covered:National
References:Demographic Health Survey Bangladesh 2014. http://www.dhsprogram.com/publications/publication-FR311-DHS-Final-Reports.cfm
Notes:Demographic Health Survey data includes ever married women aged 15-49 years only and may include males aged 15-59.
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Boys, 2009

Survey type:Measured
Age:6-15
Sample size:10135
Area covered:National
References:Bulbul T and Hoque M. 2014. Prevalence of childhood obesity and overweight in Bangladesh: findings from a countrywide epidemiological study. BMC Pediatr. 1;14:86.
Notes:Z score cut-offs used
Cutoffs:Other

Girls, 2009

Survey type:Measured
Age:6-15
Sample size:10135
Area covered:National
References:Bulbul T and Hoque M. 2014. Prevalence of childhood obesity and overweight in Bangladesh: findings from a countrywide epidemiological study. BMC Pediatr. 1;14:86.
Notes:Z score cut-offs used
Cutoffs:Other

Overweight/obesity by socio-economic group

Adults, 2018

Survey type:Measured
Age:18-69
Sample size:7985
Area covered:National
References:National STEPS Survey for Non-communicable Diseases Risk Factors in Bangladesh 2018. National Institute of Preventive and Social Medicine (NIPSOM) Mohakhali, Dhaka1212 Available at https://extranet.who.int/ncdsmicrodata/index.php/catalog/770 (last accessed 05.10.20)
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Women, 2014

Survey type:Measured
Age:15-49
Sample size:16478
Area covered:National
References:Demographic Health Survey Bangladesh 2014. http://www.dhsprogram.com/publications/publication-FR311-DHS-Final-Reports.cfm
Notes:Demographic Health Survey data includes ever married women aged 15-49 years only and may include males aged 15-59.
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Insufficient physical activity

Adults, 2016

References:Guthold R, Stevens GA, Riley LM, Bull FC. Worldwide trends in insufficient physical activity from 2001 to 2016: a pooled analysis of 358 population-based surveys with 1.9 million participants. Lancet 2018 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(18)30357-7

Men, 2016

References:Guthold R, Stevens GA, Riley LM, Bull FC. Worldwide trends in insufficient physical activity from 2001 to 2016: a pooled analysis of 358 population-based surveys with 1.9 million participants. Lancet 2018 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(18)30357-7

Women, 2016

References:Guthold R, Stevens GA, Riley LM, Bull FC. Worldwide trends in insufficient physical activity from 2001 to 2016: a pooled analysis of 358 population-based surveys with 1.9 million participants. Lancet 2018 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(18)30357-7

Average daily frequency of carbonated soft drink consumption

Children, 2014-2015

Survey type:Measured
Age:12-17
References:Beal et al. (2019). Global Patterns of Adolescent Fruit, Vegetable, Carbonated Soft Drink, and Fast-food consumption: A meta-analysis of global school-based student health surveys. Food and Nutrition Bulletin. https://doi.org/10.1177/0379572119848287 sourced from Food Systems Dashboard http://www.foodsystemsdashboard.org/food-system

Estimated per-capita fruit intake

Adults, 2017

Survey type:Measured
Age:25+
References:Global Burden of Disease, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation http://ghdx.healthdata.org/
Definitions:Estimated per-capita fruit intake (g/day)

Prevalence of less-than-daily fruit consumption

Children, 2008-2015

Survey type:Measured
Age:12-17
References:Global School-based Student Health Surveys. Beal et al (2019). Global Patterns of Adolescent Fruit, Vegetable, Carbonated Soft Drink, and Fast-food consumption: A meta-analysis of global school-based student health surveys. Food and Nutrition Bulletin. https://doi.org/10.1177/0379572119848287. Sourced from Food Systems Dashboard http://www.foodsystemsdashboard.org/food-system
Definitions:Prevalence of less-than-daily fruit consumption (% less-than-daily fruit consumption)

Prevalence of less-than-daily vegetable consumption

Children, 2008-2015

Survey type:Measured
Age:12-17
References:Beal et al. (2019). Global Patterns of Adolescent Fruit, Vegetable, Carbonated Soft Drink, and Fast-food consumption: A meta-analysis of global school-based student health surveys. Food and Nutrition Bulletin. https://doi.org/10.1177/0379572119848287 sourced from Food Systems Dashboard http://www.foodsystemsdashboard.org/food-system
Definitions:Prevalence of less-than-daily vegetable consumption (% less-than-daily vegetable consumption)

Average weekly frequency of fast food consumption

Children, 2014-2015

Age:12-17
References:Beal et al. (2019). Global Patterns of Adolescent Fruit, Vegetable, Carbonated Soft Drink, and Fast-food consumption: A meta-analysis of global school-based student health surveys. Food and Nutrition Bulletin. https://doi.org/10.1177/0379572119848287 sourced from Food Systems Dashboard http://www.foodsystemsdashboard.org/food-system

Estimated per-capita processed meat intake

Adults, 2017

Survey type:Measured
Age:25+
References:Global Burden of Disease, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation http://ghdx.healthdata.org/
Definitions:Estimated per-capita processed meat intake (g per day)

Estimated per-capita whole grains intake

Adults, 2017

Survey type:Measured
Age:25+
References:Global Burden of Disease, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation http://ghdx.healthdata.org/
Definitions:Estimated per-capita whole grains intake (g/day)

Mental health - depression disorders

Adults, 2015

References:Prevalence data from Global Burden of Disease study 2015 (http://ghdx.healthdata.org) published in: Depression and Other Common Mental Disorders: Global Health Estimates. Geneva:World Health Organization; 2017. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.
Definitions:% of population with depression disorders

Mental health - anxiety disorders

Adults, 2015

References:Prevalence data from Global Burden of Disease study 2015 (http://ghdx.healthdata.org) published in: Depression and Other Common Mental Disorders: Global Health Estimates. Geneva:World Health Organization; 2017. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.
Definitions:% of population with anxiety disorders

Oesophageal cancer

Men, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, oesophagus, adults ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Women, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, oesophagus, adults ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Breast cancer

Women, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, breast, females, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Colorectal cancer

Men, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, colorectum, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Women, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, colorectum, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Pancreatic cancer

Men, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, pancreas, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Women, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, pancreas, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Gallbladder cancer

Men, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, gallbladder, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Women, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, gallbladder, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Kidney cancer

Men, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, kidney, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Women, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, kidney, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Cancer of the uterus

Women, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, cervix uteri, females, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Raised blood pressure

Adults, 2015

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A875?lang=en
Definitions:Age Standardised estimated % Raised blood pressure 2015 (SBP>=140 OR DBP>=90).

Men, 2015

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A875?lang=en
Definitions:Age Standardised estimated % Raised blood pressure 2015 (SBP>=140 OR DBP>=90).

Women, 2015

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A875?lang=en
Definitions:Age Standardised estimated % Raised blood pressure 2015 (SBP>=140 OR DBP>=90).

Raised cholesterol

Adults, 2008

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A885
Definitions:% Raised total cholesterol (>= 5.0 mmol/L) (age-standardized estimate).

Men, 2008

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A885
Definitions:% Raised total cholesterol (>= 5.0 mmol/L) (age-standardized estimate).

Women, 2008

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A885
Definitions:% Raised total cholesterol (>= 5.0 mmol/L) (age-standardized estimate).

Raised fasting blood glucose

Men, 2014

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A869?lang=en
Definitions:Age Standardised % raised fasting blood glucose (>= 7.0 mmol/L or on medication).

Women, 2014

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A869?lang=en
Definitions:Age Standardised % raised fasting blood glucose (>= 7.0 mmol/L or on medication).

Diabetes prevalence

Adults, 2017

References:Reproduced with kind permission of IDF, International Diabetes Federation. IDF Diabetes Atlas, 8th edition. Brussels, Belgium: International Diabetes Federation, 2017. http://www.diabetesatlas.org
Definitions:Diabetes age-adjusted comparative prevalence (%).

Health systems

Economic classification: Lower Middle Income

Health systems summary

Healthcare in Bangladesh is pluralistic, delivered by 4 providers: the government, non-governmental organisations, the private sector and donor agencies. Although care in the public sector is technically available to all Bangladeshi citizens and highly subsidised by the government, the quality of care is considered to be poor, a consequence of insufficient funding and governance. As a result, the private sector (made up of formal, traditional services and informal, less traditional services) has thrived, benefitting from limited regulation. Private care in Bangladesh is expensive, and so unaffordable for much of the population. Out of pocket payments are estimated to make up 63.3% of total health expenditure, with government expenditure making up just 26%. Insurance (social or private) is uncommon in Bangladesh.

The Bangladeshi health system is challenged by an insufficient health workforce, its inadequate public system, the high number of informal providers in rural areas, lack of effective risk-pooling and low financial investment. At the same time, Bangladesh is experiencing the double burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases and great demographic changes.

Indicators

Where is the country’s government in the journey towards defining ‘Obesity as a disease’?Some progress
Where is the country’s healthcare provider in the journey towards defining ‘Obesity as a disease’?No
Is there specialist training available dedicated to the training of health professionals to prevent, diagnose, treat and manage obesity?No
Have any taxes or subsidies been put in place to protect/assist/inform the population around obesity?Yes
Are there adequate numbers of trained health professionals in specialties relevant to obesity in urban areas?No
Are there adequate numbers of trained health professionals in specialties relevant to obesity in rural areas?No
Are there any obesity-specific recommendations or guidelines published for adults?No
Are there any obesity-specific recommendations or guidelines published for children?Some progress
In practice, how is obesity treatment largely funded?Out of pocket

Perceived barriers to treatment

  • Lack of political will, interest and action
  • Lack of training for healthcare professionals
  • Resistance to innovation
  • Poor health literacy and behaviour
  • Lack of evidence, monitoring and research

Summary of stakeholder feedback

Neither the government nor healthcare providers in Bangladesh are considered to act as if obesity is a disease. As obesity is not considered a disease by healthcare providers and patients, the stakeholder reported that people only enter the health system when they have a comorbidity related to obesity. Even then, they receive no treatment for their obesity unless they go private. This is because there is no funded obesity treatment within the public sector, leaving all obesity care to be provided by the private sector. There is said to be several private clinics and dietary care services available, but these are mostly situated in urban areas and so not accessible to those living in rural regions. When treatment is provided it is said to be as ‘beauty management’ rather than because obesity is a disease.

While there is an NCD strategy (that is accompanied by an implementation guide), it noted that there is no focus in it on obesity. There is also no obesity treatment guidelines or recommendations, or training for obesity specialists. This is despite recent research showing that obesity and its related diseases are increasing in Bangladesh. There is also a growing concern about childhood obesity.

Based on interviews/survey returns from 1 stakeholder

Last updated: June 2020

Download this information as a PDF

Loading