• 1 Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Shah Alam 40450, Selangor, Malaysia
  • 2 Faculty of Medicine, MAHSA College, Millenium Court, Jalan Elmu, Off Jalan Universiti, 59100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


Various studies have reported that excess body weight may increase the risk to various diseases and death. A study reported that adolescents who were overweight were almost 18 times more likely than their leaner peers to be obese in early adulthood and were 8.5 times more likely to have hypertension as young adults. Therefore, this study was conducted to determine the body composition and four dietary factors i.e., prudent diet habits, calorie control habits, dietary fat/ cholesterol and sodium/salt control which may affect blood pressure and the risk of heart disease among year 1 medical students in a public university in Selangor. Body composition was determined by measuring the body mass index (BMI) and body fat percentage. None of the female students showed excellent/good eating habits while majority were fair (37.7%) and poor/very poor (62.3%). Nearly half of the male students showed excellent/good eating habits (42.5%), but more than half (57.5%) were poor/very poor. Majority of the female (85.7%, 85.7% and 94.8% respectively) and male students (80.9%, 57.5% and 93.6% respectively) showed excellent/good eating habits in calorie, dietary fat and salt control. Majority of the students (64.9% female and 61.7% male) have normal BMI values while 24.7% of female and 10.6% of male students were underweight (BMI values less than 18.5). Only a small number of female students were overweight (5.2%) and obese (5.2%). However 14.9% of male students were overweight and another 12.8% were obese.