Underweight and overweight or obesity and associated factors among male and female school-going adolescents in the Maldives
The study examined the prevalence of underweight and overweight or obesity and its correlates among in-school adolescents in the Maldives. Cross-sectional survey data were analysed from 3493 school-going adolescents (median age 15 years) that took part in the Maldives “Global School-Based Student Health Survey (GSHS)” in 2014. Body weight was examined by self-reported height and weight and the “international child body mass index standards”. Associations with underweight and overweight or obesity were assessed using multinomial logistic regression analyses. The prevalence of underweight was 19.7% and overweight or obesity 15.2%. In adjusted multinomial logistic regression analysis, male sex (Relative Risk Ratio-RRR: 1.32, 95% Confidence Interval-CI: 1.02, 1.72) and psychological distress (RRR: 1.89, 95% CI: 1.37, 0.88) were associated with underweight, and male sex (RRR: 1.54, 95% CI: 1.15, 2.07) was positively and older age (17 years or more) (RRR: 0.43, 95% CI: 0.29, 0.63), soft drink consumption (RRR: 0.60, 95% CI: 0.43, 0.85) and having been physically attacked (RRR: 0.60, 95% CI: 0.40, 0.91) were negatively associated with overweight or obesity. In addition, among boys, inadequate fruit and vegetable consumption was inversely associated with underweight and inadequate fruit and vegetable consumption and high parental support were negatively and current cannabis use positively associated with overweight or obesity. In addition, among girls, inadequate fruit and vegetable consumption was positively associated with underweight. High prevalences of underweight and overweight/obesity were identified in the Maldives and several gender-specific correlates were identified that may assist to tailor interventions.
Keywords: underweight, overweight, nutrition, psychosocial factors, adolescence, Maldives