Document Type



Community Health Sciences


The health and nutrition of the global adolescent population have been under-researched, in spite of its significant size (1.2 billion). This study investigates the prevalence and associated factors of malnutrition (stunting, thinness and overweight) among adolescents living in South Asia. The sample analysed was 24,053 South Asian schooled adolescents aged 12-15 years that participated in the cross-sectional Global School-Based Student Health Survey (GSHS) between 2009 and 2016. The prevalence of stunting, thinness and overweight was calculated using the World Health Organization (WHO) Child Growth Reference 2007. Associations between the three forms of malnutrition and their possible associated factors were assessed with binary logistic regression analysis using bootstrapping as a resampling method. The overall prevalence of stunting in South Asia was 13%, thinness was 10.8% and overweight was 10.8%. In the logistic regression model of the overall pooled sample, the factors associated with adolescent malnutrition were: age, hygiene behaviours, social support, sedentary behaviour, and tobacco use. A substantial proportion of stunting, thinness and overweight was found among school-going South Asian adolescents, indicating that the double burden of malnutrition is present in this population. Future research should seek to further understand the relationship between all forms of malnutrition and its associated factors in the adolescent population.


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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.