A cross-sectional comparative study was conducted to determine the nutritional status among physically active groups in Kota Bharu. The study population comprised 83 adult male athletes from 8 different types of sports (athlete group), 80 active men who exercised a minimum of 30 min per day for at least 3 times per week (exercise group), and 80 inactive men (sedentary group). All the respondents were aged between 18 to 44 years. Measurements taken from the respondents were anthropometric measurements, systolic (SBP) and diastolic (DBP) blood pressure, and serum total cholesterol (TC). The results showed that the combined prevalence of pre-obese (BMI 25.0-29.9) and obese (BMI ≥30.0) was 21.7% in athletes, 29.9% in exercise group, and 47.5% in sedentary group. The mean (± SD) percentage of body fat in athletes was 15.7 ± 5.4%, which was lower compared to the exercise (18.9 ± 5.5%) and sedentary (20.6 ± 5.8%) groups. The incidence of waist-to-hip ratio above 0.9 in athlete, exercise and sedentary groups was 9.6%, 18.7% and 31.3%, respectively. The incidence of hypertension (SBP ≥140 and/or DBP ≥90 mmHg) was 13.2% in athletes, 17.5% in exercise group and 42.5% in the sedentary group. The TC values showed that the prevalence of "high risk" individuals (TC ≥6.20 mmol/l) was also lower in athletes (20.5%), compared to the exercise (36.2%) and sedentary (47.5%) groups. The study revealed that individuals who are actively involved in physical activity, particularly in sport activities have better nutritional status compared to sedentary people. However, the nutritional status in the athlete and exercise groups was still unsatisfactory. The incidence of poor health status related to over nutrition in the active groups was rather high and needs attention from health professionals. Further studies are needed to determine nutritional practices among physically active groups.
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