Early childhood is a period during which many factors influence the development of lifelong eating habits. This study aimed to assess the nutritional status of young children and to determine factors related to eating habits.
INTRODUCTION: Meal patterns have received little attention in nutrition studies. The aim of this study is to present the findings on general meal patterns of Malaysian adults.
METHODS: The Malaysian Adults Nutrition Survey (MANS), carried out in 2002 and 2003, involved 6,928 adults selected by stratified random sampling from all households by zone in Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak.
RESULTS: In general, the results showed that most respondents (74.16%) ate three meals per day; 89.20% of the respondents consumed breakfast, while 88.57% consumed lunch and 91.97% consumed dinner with no significant difference in terms of sex. In Peninsular Malaysia, the Northern Zone had the highest number of people consuming breakfast compared to other zones. Meanwhile, the population in Sarawak had the largest proportion of people consuming lunch and dinner, but the smallest proportion of people consuming breakfast. A significantly higher number of the rural population consumed breakfast and lunch than urbanites; however there was no significant difference in dinner consumption. Generally, breakfast consumption increased with age whereby significant difference existed between the 18 to 19 years age group and the age group of 30 years and older. Lunch intake among the age groups showed no significant difference. In contrast, dinner consumption was significantly lower among the 18 to 19 years age group compared to all other age groups. Comparison among the ethnic groups showed that the Indian population had the lowest percentage of having breakfast and lunch while the Orang Asli had the lowest percentage of consuming dinner. However, the Orang Asli recorded the highest percentage for taking breakfast and lunch while the Chinese had the highest percentage of taking dinner.
CONCLUSION: Considering that Malaysian adults consumed their conventional breakfast, lunch and dinner, these findings indicatethat Malaysians are maintaining their traditional meal patterns.
Study name: Malaysian Adult Nutrition Survey (MANS-2003)
There is limited data on childhood obesity and its impact on children from diverse cultural backgrounds. This study is aimed at determining the association between obesity, self-esteem and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) among Malaysian urban primary school children of different ethnicity.
Persons with disabilities (PWD) are susceptible to malnutrition. Caregivers or teachers in rehabilitation centres may not be adequately trained in nutrition management of PWD. The aims of this study were (i) to assess the nutrition knowledge, attitude and practice among teachers in community-based rehabilitation centres for PWD; and (ii) to evaluate changes in the nutrition knowledge and attitude of the teachers before and after exposure to a training workshop on nutrition management for PWD.
INTRODUCTION: A qualitative comparative case study was conducted to compare and contrast food taboos and avoidance practices during pregnancy among Orang Asli or indigenous Temiar women in four distinct locations that represent different lifestyle experiences and cultural practices.
METHODS: Through snowballing sampling, a total of 38 participants took part in five focus groups: one group each in Pos Simpor and Pos Tohoi in Kelantan state, one group in Batu 12, Gombak in Selangor state, and two groups in a regroupment scheme (RPSOA) in Kuala Betis, Kelantan. All the transcripts were coded, categorised and 'thematised' using the software package for handling qualitative data, NVivo 8.
RESULTS: Variant food prohibitions were recorded among the Temiar women residing in different locations, which differ in food sources and ways of obtaining food. Consumption of seventeen types of food items was prohibited for a pregnant Temiar woman and her husband during the prenatal period. Fear of difficulties during labour and delivery, convulsions or sawan, harming the baby (such as foetal malformation), and twin pregnancy seemed to trigger many food proscriptions for the pregnant Temiar women, most of which have been passed on from generation to generation.
CONCLUSION: The findings of this study confirm that beliefs about food restrictions are strong among those Temiar living a traditional lifestyle. However, those who have adopted a more modern lifestyle also preserve them to some extent.pregnancy among Orang Asli or indigenous Temiar women in four distinct locations that represent different lifestyle experiences and cultural practices.
Nutritional decline is typically accepted as a consequent of the course of treatment for cancer. This study aimed to (1) assess body weight status and dietary intake of breast cancer patients on chemotherapy and (2) to correlate Body Mass Index (BMI), energy and protein intake with health-related quality of life (HRQoL) profile.
In order to overcome the stability problems of oils and fats, synthetic antioxidants such as butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) and tert-butyl hydroquinone (TBHQ) have widespread use as food additives in many countries. Recent reports reveal that these compounds may be implicated in many health risks, including cancer and carcinogenesis. Hence, there is a move towards the use of natural antioxidants of plant origin to replace these synthetic antioxidants.
This study aimed to develop demi-span equations for predicting height in the Malaysian elderly and to explore the applicability of previous published demi-span equations derived from adult populations to the elderly.
Hospitalised elderly patients are at high risk of malnutrition due to the presence of chronic diseases and inadequate food intake. It was on this premise that a Malnutrition Risk Screening Tool-Hospital (MRST-H) was developed for identifying the risk of malnutrition among Malaysian elderly patients.
INTRODUCTION: There is a pressing need to better understand the complex biochemical pathways that lead to the pathogenesis of obesity. Increased oxidative stress and decreased antioxidant capacity have been identified to be associated with obesity. Therefore, the objectives of this study were to determine the plasma total antioxidant capacity (TAC) levels of Malaysian subjects and to evaluate its potential association with obesity and related anthropometric measurements.
METHODS: Plasma TAC of 362 multi-ethnic Malaysian subjects from the Kampar Health Clinic (138 males, 224 females; 124 ethnic Malays, 152 Chinese, 86 Indians; 192 non-obese, 170 obese) was measured using Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC) 96-well plate assay.
RESULTS: Plasma TAC was significantly lower in obese subjects (M +/- SE = 292 +/- 10.4 micromol/L) compared to non-obese subjects (397 +/- 8.58 micromol/L), whereas it was significantly higher in males and those in the 21-30 age group. Those with salty food preference and practising a strict vegetarian diet also had significantly higher plasma TAC. However, no association was found for other dietary habits (coffee intake) and lifestyle factors (physical activity, smoking). Plasma TAC was also significantly negatively correlated with diastolic blood pressure, waist and hip circumferences, weight, body mass index, total body fat, % subcutaneous fat, visceral fat level, resting metabolism and % skeletal muscle.
CONCLUSION: Plasma TAC was found to be associated with obesity, strict vegetarian practice, salty food preference and all obesity anthropometric indicators, except systolic blood pressure and pulse rate. Obese people have decreased plasma TAC indicating a compromised systemic antioxidant defence and increased oxidative stress.
INTRODUCTION: Gout and hyperuricaemia attributed to genetic and lifestyle factors have been associated with several chronic diseases. This study aimed to determine the association and interaction effects between vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2 (VEGFR-2) gene polymorphisms (rs1870377 and rs2071559) and dietary patterns on blood uric acid in Malay and Indian adults.
METHODS: Dietary intakes of 153 Malays and 177 Indians were obtained using a food frequency questionnaire for the construction of dietary patterns using factor analysis. Genotyping of rs1870377 and rs2071559 was performed by real-time PCR using TaqMan probes. Anthropometric measurements, body mass index (BMI) and blood pressure and biomarkers, uric acid, glycated haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), and blood lipids were determined.
RESULTS: There were significant differences in the mean values for HbA1c (41±-12 vs 45±-8 mmol/mol, p<0.001) and blood lipids levels (p<0.05) between Malays and Indians. Significant correlations were obtained between uric acid with selected blood lipids (p<0.05) and BMI in Malays (r=0.362, p<0.001) and Indians (r=0.212, p<0.01). Four dietary patterns were extracted from dietary intakes of all subjects: ‘Vegetables diet’; ‘Fruits diet’ (FD); ‘Animal protein and rice diet’; and ‘Fast foods and preserved foods diet’. There were no significant associations between dietary patterns (p=0.054-0.609) and VEGFR-2 gene polymorphisms (p=0.348-0.778) with uric acid. In Malay subjects, the interaction of rs2071559 and FD had a borderline effect (p=0.05) on blood uric acid after adjusting for potential confounders.
CONCLUSION: The associations and gene-diet interactions involving VEGFR-2 gene polymorphisms and FD on uric acid provide new information on gout and hyperuricaemia risks in Malays.
Keywords: Gene-diet interaction, VEGFR-2 gene polymorphisms, dietary pattern, uric acid, Malaysians
Carotenoid-rich red palm oil (RPO)-based snacks have been provided to children in impoverished communities to improve their vitamin A status. The non-availabilty of information on the acceptability of RPO-based snacks by Malaysian aborigines (Orang Asli) children forms the basis of this study.
This study aimed to evaluate the validity and reliability of the Multidimensional Body Image Scale (MBIS), a seven-factor, 62-item scale developed for Malaysian female adolescents. This scale was evaluated among male and female Malaysian university students.
Introduction: Findings from the National Health and Morbidity Survey III (MOH, 2008) indicate a 43.7% prevalence of physical inactivity among Malaysian adults. This sedentary lifestyle can also be observed among children and adolescents.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted to determine factors associated with physical activity levels of four hundred, 13 year-old adolescents in Kuantan, Pahang. Data on socio-demographic, health-related, and psychosocial factors were collected using a self-administered questionnaire while physical activity level was assessed using the Physical Activity Questionnaire for Older Children (PAQ-C).
Results: About one-third of the respondents were in the low physical activity level category, 61.5% were in the moderate category and only 3.0% of the adolescents were in the high physical activity level category. Males were more physically active than females (χ2=23.667, p=0.0001) with female adolescents (45.1%) twice as likely as male adolescents (22.1%) to be in the low physical activity level category. The associations between physical activity level with socio-demographic and health-related factors, perception of weight status and body parts satisfaction were not significant. However, physical activity was found to be positively correlated with physical activity self-efficacy (r=0.496,p=0.0001), peer influence (r=0.468, p=0.0001), family influence (r=0.298, p=0.0001) and beliefs in physical activity outcomes (r=0.207, p=0.0001). Negative relationships were found between physical activity with depression (r=-0.116, p=0.021) and body size discrepancy (r=-0.143, p<0.01). Respondents who had a better perception of their current health status were more physically active (χ2=21.062, p=0.0001). Multivariate analyses for the prediction of physical activity showed that physical activity self-efficacy, sex and peer influence were the most significant contributors in explaining physical activity among adolescents.
Conclusion: Physical activity interventions should include psychosocial components as mediator variables in interventions designed to promote regular physical activity in adolescence.
Key words: Adolescents, physical activity, psychosocial factors, health-related factors and socio-demographic factors