Underweight and overweight/obesity is a critical public health problem among women in South Asian countries. This study aimed to find the prevalence of underweight and overweight/obesity and discover its associated factors among women of reproductive age in four South Asian countries.
Population-representative cross-sectional latest Demographic and Health Survey data from four South Asian countries, considering Bangladesh (2017-18), Maldives (2016-17), Nepal (2016), and Pakistan (2017-18), were pooled for this study. To investigate the factors related with underweight and overweight/obesity in women, a multivariate multinomial logistic regression model was deployed.
The overall prevalence of underweight and overweight/obesity among reproductive-age women in four South Asian countries was 11.8% and 36.3%, respectively. According to adjusted multivariate multinomial logistic regression analysis, women who lived in Pakistan, were older, had a better education, were from the wealthiest home, were currently in union and had media exposure had a considerably decreased probability of being underweight. In contrast, families with a large number of members had a considerably increased risk of becoming underweight. Additionally, women from the Maldives, older age, secondary education, a higher number of children, women from the richest household, currently in the union, the family had media exposure, and pregnant women have been found significantly positively associated with overweight/obesity. However, Nepalese women, large family members, rural residence, and work involvement were significantly negatively associated with overweight/obesity.
The problem of being underweight and overweight/obesity still exists in South Asian countries. Focusing on women’s age, education, wealth index, and media exposure, different public health intervention approaches are imperative to reduce unhealthy weight conditions.

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