24-hour movement guidelines and weight status among preschool-aged children in Bangladesh: A community-level cross-sectional study

Publication Name

Brain and Behavior


Background: Increasing levels of urbanization and digitization in Bangladesh may be adversely associated with children's weight status and related movement behaviors. This study examined the prevalence of obesity, physical activity (PA), sedentary behavior, and sleep among young children from a district town in northern Bangladesh and identified factors associated with unhealthy weight status. Methods: Population-based cross-sectional study involving all kindergarten schools in Jamalpur District town. Schools and children aged 4–7 years were randomly selected and had their weight and height measured. Mothers completed a questionnaire on their child's PA, recreational screen time, and sleep and sociodemographic factors. Children's weight status was based on World Health Organization (WHO) categories. Meeting the PA recommendation was based on the WHO guidelines for children and adolescents, and meeting the sedentary behavior and sleep recommendations was based on the Canadian/Australian 24-hour movement guidelines for children and young people. Results: A total of 585 children and their parents were included in the study. Overall, 15% of children were overweight or obese. Three-quarters of children met the sleep guideline, and 50% met the PA guideline. Less than one third of children (31%) met the recreational screen time guideline, whereas 15% met all three guidelines. However, when adjusted for all predictors in the model, maternal education, family income, and child's age were significantly associated with overweight/obesity. Children with higher maternal education level were 2.3 times (AOR = 2.33, 95% CI: 1.19–4.78) more likely to be overweight/obese. Children in families with a higher monthly income had 1.9 times (AOR = 1.95, 95% CI: 1.14, 3.35) higher risk of being overweight/obese. Conclusions: Prioritizing maternal education (mother-centric interventions) can help address the high levels of childhood obesity in Bangladesh.

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