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Impact of Obesity on Reproductive Functioning

Shreyans Rai, IIPS
Sayeed Unisa, international Institute for Population Sciences

Apart from comorbidities like non-communicable diseases and other degenerative diseases, obesity and overweight have consequences on reproductive health. Almost all the health and nutrition policies in developing countries like India emphasize undernutrition, but at the same time, the rising prevalence of over-nutrition is now a serious health threat. The main objective of this paper was to assess the association between reproductive health problems and obesity among women using NFHS- 4 data. Findings suggest that primary infertility was highest among women who were morbidly obese while it was moderately high for women whose BMI was between 30 – 39. Similar trends like primary infertility can be seen in childlessness as well. Women who were morbidly obese had the highest proportion of childlessness, followed by women belonging to grade 2 of obesity. Women belonging to the obese category showed a higher proportion of miscarriage than women belonging to the normal BMI range. This study found a positive association of primary infertility, childlessness, and miscarriage with overweight and obesity among women. Women with grade 2 and grade 3 obesity have a substantial risk of facing reproductive issues and succumb to one or more of the issues mentioned above.

Keywords: Fertility and childbirth, Policy evaluation, Econometrics

See extended abstract.

  Presented in Session 44. Health and Reproductive Health