Author(s): Pryer JA, Rogers S, Rahman A
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Abstract This study looks at women from the slums in Mohammadpur, Dhaka, Bangladesh, where 54 percent of women's BMI was less than 18.5. Fifty percent of the Dhaka slum population lived below the poverty line. Logistic regression showed that women with income above 1,500 taka per capita were 1.78 times more likely to have a higher BMI (odds ratio 1.7863; CI = 0.671-3.639). Women with their own savings were 1.89 times more likely to have higher BMI (odds ratio 1.879; CI = 0.01163-1.6431). Women were 4.5 times more likely to have a higher BMI when food expenditure per capita above 559 taka per month (odds ratio 4.55; CI = 1.0302-8.0799). Women were 1.82 times more likely to have higher BMI when there was a break even situation in financial status (odds ratio 1.8212; CI = -015709-3.6285). Female headed households were 3.3 times more likely to have a higher BMI compared to women living in male headed households (odds ratio 3.2966; CI = 0.33711-6.25620). Women who work 15-23 days per month were 2.3 times more likely to have a higher BMI (odds ratio 2.33; CI = 0.1133-4.5600). Women who are the budget manager are 1.12 times more likely to have a higher BMI (odds ratio 1.125; CI = 0.29296-2.0966). Where as a husband who beats his wife is 1.83 more likely to have a poorer BMI (odds ratio 1.8312; CI = -3.72596-0.17508). Women who have no marriage documents and women who take days off due to illness less than 11 days per month were more likely to have a poorer BMI (odds ratio 0.5567; CI = -0.049339-2.8379; odds ratio 0.7569; CI = 0.183167-2.0002). Women's nutritional status and well being can influence their ability to provide for themselves and their families and the demonstration of a relationship between measures of women's autonomy and control in the household and women's nutritional status is an important indication of the importance of these sociological constructs. Women's participation in work outside the home may be a factor increasing their autonomy. The identification of relationships between women's autonomy and control and their physical well being should provide further leverage for policy change that will enable women to escape some traditional roles and to contribute as more equal partners with men in the future of Bangladeshi society.
This article was published in Soc Biol
and referenced in Journal of Nutrition & Food Sciences