Dietary intakes and obesity of Malaysian adults

  • Received : 2018.11.27
  • Accepted : 2019.03.12
  • Published : 2019.04.01


BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: Over the past few decades, Malaysia has been experiencing an increased prevalence of overweight and obesity that threatens the health of Malaysians. Poor dietary intake is one of the major contributors to the development of obesity and many non-communicable diseases. The dietary intakes of adults in Malaysia were assessed to determine the association between the dietary intake variables and the body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC) measurements. This study examined whether the dietary intake achieved the recommended nutritional guidelines and compared the intakes between both sexes. SUBJECTS/METHODS: The height, weight, and WC of four-hundred-and-ninety adults (n = 490) in Malaysia were measured using standard procedures. The three-day 24-hour dietary recalls were conducted on 422 out of the 490 adults and their dietary intakes were evaluated in detail. The selected dietary intake variables were used to determine the associations with the obesity indicators. RESULTS: Among the participants, 52.8% were overweight or obese. After data analysis, the mean energy intake was 1,550 kcal/day, in which male participants had a significantly higher energy and macronutrients intake than females. Protein consumption and its percentage of energy contribution exceeded the recommended range. The consumption of fruits, vegetables, and milk and milk products were lower than the recommended number of servings for a healthy diet. The male participants consumed significantly more servings of carbohydrate-based foods, meat, and fats, oils, and sweets than females. Among the selected dietary intake variables, only the carbohydrate intake was negatively associated with the BMI (Estimate b = -0.008) and WC measurements (Estimate b = -0.019) after adjusting for covariates. CONCLUSIONS: This study evaluated the dietary intakes of a sample of Malaysian adults and its association with the obesity indicators. The results highlight the need for improvements and modifications of the dietary intake of Malaysians to reduce the overweight and obesity rates.



Supported by : Universiti Sains Malaysia


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