Prevalence and risk factors of overweight among adolescents: an analysis of Bhutan Global School-based Student Health Survey data

Publication Name

Vulnerable Children and Youth Studies


The burden of overweight and obesity in children and adolescents has increased, especially in developing countries, posing a significant health challenge. Data on factors influencing overweight among adolescents is scarce in Bhutan. The present study examined the factors associated with overweight among school-going adolescents in Bhutan. This study analysed the nationally representative data from the Bhutan Global School-based Student Health Survey (BGSHS) conducted in 2016. The factors associated with overweight were identified by conducting multiple logistic regression analysis using a backward elimination approach. The complex survey design of the BGSHS was accounted for in the analysis. This study found that the prevalence of overweight was 11.35%. The findings showed that females, adolescents who were day students, and sedentary had higher odds of being overweight, whereas those aged >15 years and received education on healthy eating had reduced odds in the full sample. Female adolescents who were sedentary had increased odds of overweight. In the males’ only sample, being a day student and living in urban areas was associated with increased odds of overweight, whereas those boys who received education on healthy eating and smoked cigarettes had reduced odds. Being >15 years of age was a common factor associated with reduced odds of overweight. Based on findings, policies aimed to reduce sedentariness and promote a healthy diet and behaviour can help reduce the risk of being overweight. Interventions targeting females, young adolescents, day students, and adolescents living in urban areas may be cost-effective.

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