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Associations between internet use and overweight/obesity in Nepal: Do gender and urbanity modify these associations?
Authors: Juwel Rana
Source: International Journal of Epidemiology, Volume 50, Issue Supplement 1; DOI:
Topic(s): Mass media
Rural-urban differentials
Country: Asia
Published: SEP 2021
Abstract: Background: Overweight and obesity, a major risk factor for non-communicable disease (NCD), premature deaths, and disability-is exponentially increasing globally, especially in people in low and middle-income countries (LIMCs). This study, thus, examined the associations between internet use and overweight/obesity in Nepal, and the extent to which these associations vary by gender and urbanity. Methods: We extracted data available from the nationally representative Nepal Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) 2016. Body Mass Index (BMI) was the outcome of interest. The use of internet (IU) in the last twelve months and frequency of using internet (IUF) in the last month were the primary exposure of interest. Multivariable ordinal logistic regression models at different levels were fitted to obtain the adjusted effects of exposures. Results: Of 10,380 study participants, 38.5% were males, and 61.5% were females. About 33% of the respondents were overweight and obese (SA cut-off). The prevalence of IU was 31.3% among adults in Nepal. Results show that the risk of overweight and obesity-SA was significantly 1.79 (95% CI: 1.56, 2.05; p < 0.001) times higher among respondents who used internet less than/at least once in a week, and 2.16 (95% CI: 1.88, 2.48; p < 0.0001) times higher among respondents who used internet almost every day compared to non-users of internet. These associations significantly varied by gender. Conclusion: Higher frequency of internet exposure has detrimental effect on overweight and obesity in Nepal.