Unhealthy dietary habits and physical inactivity are major risk factors of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) globally. The objective of this paper was to describe the role of dietary practices and physical activity in the interaction of the social determinants of NCDs in Nepal, a developing economy. The study was a qualitative study design involving two districts in Nepal, whereby data was collected via key informant interviews (n = 63) and focus group discussions (n = 12). Thematic analysis of the qualitative data was performed, and a causal loop diagram was built to illustrate the dynamic interactions of the social determinants of NCDs based on the themes. The study also involved sense-making sessions with policy level and local stakeholders. Four key interacting themes emerged from the study describing current dietary and physical activity practices, influence of junk food, role of health system and socio-economic factors as root causes. While the current dietary and physical activity-related practices within communities were unhealthy, the broader determinants such as socio-economic circumstances and gender further fuelled such practices. The health system has potential to play a more effective role in the prevention of the behavioural and social determinants of NCDs.
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