Do the dietary and lifestyle practices make the private medical students overweight: A cross-sectional study in Bangladesh?

Fatema Binte Rasul, Md. Shajedur Rahman Shawon, Shaila Nazneen, Fariha Binte Hossain, Sayeda Shabukta Malik, Md. Tauhidul Islam



Increased mechanization and change in the food patterns are leading to physical inactivity and more energy intake globally. That’s why, obesity and overweight are no longer confined to the industrialized countries; it has spread to the developing countries as well. In Bangladesh also over-nutrition is increasing alarmingly. As the future doctors, medical students should adopt healthy dietary and lifestyle practices from the very beginning of their youth for contributing more effectively and efficiently to the country’s healthcare.


The study assessed the prevalence of overweight, the dietary and lifestyle determinants of overweight among the students of an urban private medical college of Bangladesh.


A cross-sectional study was conducted in Ibrahim Medical College, a private medical college in Dhaka city. Data was collected through self-administered questionnaires and anthropometric measurements. Data Analysis was done by SPSS version 17.0


The Prevalence of overweight among the medical students was found to be 27.16% (Male 39% and female 22%) . 58% of the respondents had positive family history of overweight/obesity and around 70% of them had positive family history of Type 2 Diabetes and Hypertension. The dietary factors associated with overweight were increased frequency of eating at fast food shops and drinking sweetened tea or coffee. Among the lifestyle factors, liberal family rules regarding food, prolonged gap (?120 minutes) between waking up and having breakfast, taking meal while watching TV or using computer and inadequate sleep (<7 hours of sleep) were found to be associated with being overweight. Binary logistic regression concludes that positive family history of overweight/obesity; inadequate sleep and a prolonged gap between waking up and having breakfast were significantly contributing to be overweight.


The prevalence of overweight among the urban private medical college students was found to be higher than the available data of overweight in Bangladesh. Along with dietary habits, lifestyle practices are also becoming more and more important determinants of being overweight. The medical students should be counseled and advised to bring positive attitude towards healthy lifestyle and dietary practices.

Keywords: Non-communicable disease, overweight, obesity, medical students, BMI

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