Association of body weight status and socio-demographic factors with food habits among preschool children in Peninsular Malaysia

Norimah A. Karim, M. T. Mohd Nasir, A. S. Hazizi, P. Suraya, S. H. Loh, A. R. Nurliyana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Introduction: Changes in children's food habits are largely attributed to changes in the family and social environment. This cross-sectional study was carried out to determine the association of socio-demographic factors with food habits among preschool children in Peninsular Malaysia. Methods: A total of 1,933 preschool children aged 4-6 years old participated in the study. Parents or guardians were interviewed on the socio-demographic characteristics and food habits of their children. Height and weight of the preschoolers were measured; BMI-for-age, weight-for-age and height-for-age were determined. Results: The mean monthly household income was RM3,610 with 59.6% of parents having attained secondary education. The prevalence of possible risk of overweight, being overweight and obesity were 3.9%, 7.9% and 8.1%, respectively while the prevalence of underweight and stunting was 8.0% and 8.4%. A majority of the preschoolers consumed breakfast, lunch and dinner every day, with the proportion of children skipping their main meals at about 15.0%. Parents' education level and household income were significandy associated with intakes of fruits, vegetables, milk and dairy products, as well as fast food. However, there was no significant association between children's body weight status and frequency of main meals intake, fruits, vegetables, milk and dairy products, and fast food intake. Conclusion: The preschoolers demonstrated moderately healthy food habits; nevertheless even at this young age, they were inclined towards fried foods, snacking and fast foods intake. Parents and guardians should play a more significant role in educating and promoting good nutrition and food habits among preschoolers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-315
Number of pages13
JournalMalaysian Journal of Nutrition
Volume20
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Fingerprint

preschool children
Malaysia
Feeding Behavior
Preschool Children
eating habits
Fast Foods
demographic statistics
Body Weight
Demography
fast foods
dairy products
Parents
body weight
Meals
Dairy Products
vegetable products
household income
meals (menu)
Fruit
Milk

Keywords

  • Food habits
  • Peninsular Malaysia
  • Preschoolers
  • Socio-demographic factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Food Science

Cite this

Association of body weight status and socio-demographic factors with food habits among preschool children in Peninsular Malaysia. / A. Karim, Norimah; Mohd Nasir, M. T.; Hazizi, A. S.; Suraya, P.; Loh, S. H.; Nurliyana, A. R.

In: Malaysian Journal of Nutrition, Vol. 20, No. 3, 2014, p. 303-315.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

A. Karim, Norimah ; Mohd Nasir, M. T. ; Hazizi, A. S. ; Suraya, P. ; Loh, S. H. ; Nurliyana, A. R. / Association of body weight status and socio-demographic factors with food habits among preschool children in Peninsular Malaysia. In: Malaysian Journal of Nutrition. 2014 ; Vol. 20, No. 3. pp. 303-315.
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