Nutritional status, dietary intake patterns and nutrition knowledge of children aged 5-6 years attending kindergartens in the Klang Valley, Malaysia

Bee Koon Poh, Kathryn B L Tham, S. N. Wong, Winnie S S Chee, E. S. Tee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Introduction: 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 factorsrelated to eating habits. Methods: A total of 992 children aged 5-6 years attending kindergartens that participated in the Bright Start Nutrition programme in the Klang Valley were included in the study. Anthropometricmeasurements were taken and body mass index (BMI) calculated. A questionnaire to assess the children's nutrition knowledge was administered through interviews, while their mothers selfadministered another set of questionnaires regarding knowledge, attitude and practice on nutrition. Results: The mean BMI was 15.7±2.7kg/m2 inboys and 15.4±2.4kg/m2 in girls. Based on the WHO 2007 growth reference, the prevalence of overweight and obesity were 9.1% and 9.3%, respectively; while the prevalence of thinness and stunting were 5.8% and 3.9%, respectively. Most of the children consumed breakfast (86.4%), lunch (94.1%) and dinner (93.4%) daily. The majority liked fruits (95.1%), snacks (93.8%), Western fast food (93.3%) and milk (90.8%),while less than two-thirds(65.1%) liked vegetables. The mean nutrition knowledge scores for the children and mothers were 73.2±9.8%and 60.2±18.8%, respectively. Maternal nutrition knowledge was correlated positively with children's vegetableintake (r=0.111, p<0.05) and negatively with snack intake (r=-0.134, p<0.05). Conclusion: These results showed ahigher prevalence of overweight and obesity than underweight and thinness among the urban young children studied. As mother's nutrition knowledge was found to exert a positive influence on children's eating habits, it is important to provide nutrition education to both mothers and children when conducting intervention programmes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-242
Number of pages12
JournalMalaysian Journal of Nutrition
Volume18
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Fingerprint

kindergarten
nutrition knowledge
Malaysia
Nutritional Status
nutritional status
food intake
valleys
Mothers
Thinness
eating habits
Feeding Behavior
Snacks
snacks
body mass index
obesity
questionnaires
Body Mass Index
Obesity
child nutrition
fast foods

Keywords

  • Childhood nutrition
  • Food habits
  • Maternal influence
  • Nutrition knowledge
  • Preschoolers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Food Science

Cite this

Nutritional status, dietary intake patterns and nutrition knowledge of children aged 5-6 years attending kindergartens in the Klang Valley, Malaysia. / Poh, Bee Koon; Tham, Kathryn B L; Wong, S. N.; Chee, Winnie S S; Tee, E. S.

In: Malaysian Journal of Nutrition, Vol. 18, No. 2, 2012, p. 231-242.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T1 - Nutritional status, dietary intake patterns and nutrition knowledge of children aged 5-6 years attending kindergartens in the Klang Valley, Malaysia

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AU - Chee, Winnie S S

AU - Tee, E. S.

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N2 - Introduction: 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 factorsrelated to eating habits. Methods: A total of 992 children aged 5-6 years attending kindergartens that participated in the Bright Start Nutrition programme in the Klang Valley were included in the study. Anthropometricmeasurements were taken and body mass index (BMI) calculated. A questionnaire to assess the children's nutrition knowledge was administered through interviews, while their mothers selfadministered another set of questionnaires regarding knowledge, attitude and practice on nutrition. Results: The mean BMI was 15.7±2.7kg/m2 inboys and 15.4±2.4kg/m2 in girls. Based on the WHO 2007 growth reference, the prevalence of overweight and obesity were 9.1% and 9.3%, respectively; while the prevalence of thinness and stunting were 5.8% and 3.9%, respectively. Most of the children consumed breakfast (86.4%), lunch (94.1%) and dinner (93.4%) daily. The majority liked fruits (95.1%), snacks (93.8%), Western fast food (93.3%) and milk (90.8%),while less than two-thirds(65.1%) liked vegetables. The mean nutrition knowledge scores for the children and mothers were 73.2±9.8%and 60.2±18.8%, respectively. Maternal nutrition knowledge was correlated positively with children's vegetableintake (r=0.111, p<0.05) and negatively with snack intake (r=-0.134, p<0.05). Conclusion: These results showed ahigher prevalence of overweight and obesity than underweight and thinness among the urban young children studied. As mother's nutrition knowledge was found to exert a positive influence on children's eating habits, it is important to provide nutrition education to both mothers and children when conducting intervention programmes.

AB - Introduction: 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 factorsrelated to eating habits. Methods: A total of 992 children aged 5-6 years attending kindergartens that participated in the Bright Start Nutrition programme in the Klang Valley were included in the study. Anthropometricmeasurements were taken and body mass index (BMI) calculated. A questionnaire to assess the children's nutrition knowledge was administered through interviews, while their mothers selfadministered another set of questionnaires regarding knowledge, attitude and practice on nutrition. Results: The mean BMI was 15.7±2.7kg/m2 inboys and 15.4±2.4kg/m2 in girls. Based on the WHO 2007 growth reference, the prevalence of overweight and obesity were 9.1% and 9.3%, respectively; while the prevalence of thinness and stunting were 5.8% and 3.9%, respectively. Most of the children consumed breakfast (86.4%), lunch (94.1%) and dinner (93.4%) daily. The majority liked fruits (95.1%), snacks (93.8%), Western fast food (93.3%) and milk (90.8%),while less than two-thirds(65.1%) liked vegetables. The mean nutrition knowledge scores for the children and mothers were 73.2±9.8%and 60.2±18.8%, respectively. Maternal nutrition knowledge was correlated positively with children's vegetableintake (r=0.111, p<0.05) and negatively with snack intake (r=-0.134, p<0.05). Conclusion: These results showed ahigher prevalence of overweight and obesity than underweight and thinness among the urban young children studied. As mother's nutrition knowledge was found to exert a positive influence on children's eating habits, it is important to provide nutrition education to both mothers and children when conducting intervention programmes.

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