Journal of Childhood Obesity Open Access

  • ISSN: 2572-5394
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The Prevalence of Overweight and Obesity and Its Association Factors among Malays�?¢�?�?��?�?� Adolescents: Findings from Seafood Consumption Survey in Peninsular Malaysia

Nurul Izzah A, Nadia M, Wan Rozita WM, Tengku Rozaina TM, Rafiza S and Lokman Hakim S

Introduction: Overweight and obesity in Malaysia has been increasing for the past decades. The present study is to determine the prevalence of overweight and obesity among Malay adolescents involved in the “Seafood consumption survey in Peninsular Malaysia, 2008-2009”. The relationship between obesity, socio-demographic and family-related characteristics were investigated. It also compared food patterns that are commonly consumed between obese and nonobese adolescents.

Methods: A population-based cross-sectional study was carried out to determine the prevalence of overweight and obesity among Malay school children aged 10-17 years in Peninsular Malaysia and to determine its’ association with some demographic factors and food intake. A stratified two-stage cluster sampling design with proportional allocation was used. Data were collected through faceto-face interviews using pre-design validated questionnaires between February 2008 and May 2009. Weight and height were measured by the interviewers using SECA weighing machine and food intake was estimated with a 3-day dietary diary forms. The adolescent was classified as normal, overweight and obese in accordance with the age and gender-specific body mass index WHO reference 2007 for children 5-19 years old. Statistical analysis was carried out using SPSS version 16.

Results: The prevalence of overweight and obesity among subjects (n=484) was 12.4% and 11.6%, respectively. Male students were prone to obesity (14.5%) compared to females (9%). The results in the bivariate analysis showed that having an obese mother (OR=1.92; CI: 1.018-3.622; p=0.044), obese father (OR=2.69; CI: 1.055-6.883; p=0.038), and either one of the parents is obese, were significantly associated with obesity among adolescents (OR=2.178; CI: 1.184-4.004; p=0.012). Having obesity in another family member also increases the risk to 3.77 times for the adolescent to be obese (OR=3.768; CI: 1.703-8.336; p=0.001). Following the adjusted analysis using Multiple Logistic Regression (MLR), adolescents having an obese father (OR=5.599; CI: 1.086-28.884; p=0.04) and staying in the north region (OR=2.056; CI: 1.024-4.127; p=0.043) remained significant risk factors for adolescent obesity. Higher socioeconomic status with a household income of more than RM 3,000 increases the odds by two times (OR=2.240; CI: 1.0054.994; p=0.049), of having an obese adolescent in the house. Obese adolescent consumed significantly (p=0.041) more food (1149 g) compared to non-obese (1036 g) and their consumption were higher during daytime (p=0.053; 1242 g), specifically during lunch (p=0.011; 791 g) and breakfast (p=0.061; 458 g). The most frequent food consumed by the obese adolescent was seafood, vegetables and fruits and they preferred flavoured/malt drinks with sugar and milk.

Conclusions: In this study, obese adolescents showed a strong association with household income, a region of residence and obesity in other family members and they consumed more food during the day-time.