Fit in the City? Weight Gain among Urban Individuals in Low and Middle Income Countries

Alka Dev, CUNY Institute for Demographic Research (CIDR)
Deborah L. Balk, CUNY Institute for Demographic Research (CIDR)

The globalization of food and lifestyles combined with economic changes could result in different risks for overweight and obesity among urban and rural residents but also among women and men. City size may also predict an urban gradient of future prevalences of obesity and chronic diseases. We examine DHS data on women (ages 15-49) and men (ages 15-54), focusing on an independent effect of urbanization on gains in BMI in over 50 countries over the past two decades. We also restrict analysis to countries with georeferenced clusters to examine city size and other spatial characteristics more closely. We construct multilevel hierarchical models that assess the role of individual and community level characteristics in the likelihood of weight gain. We use separate multilevel models for each characteristic of the urban environment with individual characteristics. Findings have implications for urban public health planning in established and emerging metropolitan areas.

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Presented in Poster Session 8: Adult Health and Mortality