Growth patterns of urban Malaysian children under 24
months of age in Selangor, Malaysia
Heng Yaw Yong, Zalilah Mohd Shariff & Chee Yen Wong
Introduction: To identify the growth patterns of young children during the first two years of life according to gestational age, birth weight, and growth status at 24 months of age.
Methods: This was a retrospective cohort study of 4,570 young children in Selangor. Data were extracted from children’s health records in government health clinics. Growth data were analysed using the Anthro Plus software that utilises the World Health Organization growth standards.
Results: Generally, wasting prevalence was the highest at birth and 24 months, but stunting was more predominant from 1 to 21 months. Weight-for-age z-scores (WAZ), lengthfor- age z-scores (LAZ), and weight-for-length z-scores (WLZ) from birth to 24 months were within -3.00 to 0.00 standard deviation (SD) for pre-term low birth weight children, –1.50 to 0.00 SD for pre-term normal birth weight children, and –2.50 to 0.50 SD for full-term low birth weight children. While WAZ, LAZ, and WLZ from birth to 24 months for underweight/stunted/wasted children were within –2.50 to 0.50 SD, the values for overweight/obese (OV/OB) children were within –1.00 to 2.00 SD. For normal children, WAZ, LAZ, and WLZ exhibited comparable trends, with values within –1.00 to 0.00 SD from birth to 24 months.
Conclusion: While stunting and wasting persisted as the most common forms of malnutrition in this sample of young children, the prevalence of OV/OB increased by 24 months. Interventions to promote child growth should focus not only on the prevention of undernutrition, but also on OV/OB.
Key words: Malaysia, malnutrition, obesity, overweight, retrospective studies
Effect of date palm cultivars on chemical and
phytochemical properties of date vinegars
Wilawan Boonsupa, Chananthon Thammajit, Thidarat Sittisumran, Onanong Thiansai & Tharakorn Kaewsura
Introduction: Phoenix dactylifera, commonly known as date or date palm, is a flowering plant species in the palm family Arecaceae, cultivated for its edible sweet fruit called dates. Dates are high in dietary fibre and antioxidant compounds, known for preventing cancer and cardiovascular diseases. This research studied the chemical properties, antioxidant activities, and total phenolic content of fermented date vinegars from Phoenix dactylifera L. fruits, which had three cultivars - Barhi, Siam S1, and KL1.
Methods: The first step was making date wines by using Saccharomyces cerevisiae (0.75% v/v of date juice content) to produce alcohol; the second step was making date vinegars by using Acetobacter pasteurianus (10% v/v of inoculum). Thereafter, the wines and vinegars were analysed for their chemical properties [high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)], antioxidant activities [2,2-Diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) assay], and total phenolic content (folin ciocalteu method).
Results: Results showed that the highest alcohol content was 9.35% (v/v) in Siam S1 wine. The highest acetic acid was 7% (v/v) in Siam S1 vinegar. From the phytochemical analysis of vinegars, the highest antioxidant activity was found to be 24.96 mg/mL in Siam S1 vinegar, while the highest total phenolic content was found to be 208.35 mg GAE/L in KL1 vinegar.
Conclusion: This novel research showed that the Siam S1 date had the highest acetic acid and antioxidant activity in vinegar. Thus, this cultivar could be processed to make new, healthy products that can further lead to income generation for the people in Thailand.
Key words: antioxidant activity, chemical properties, date fruits, vinegar, wine
Eating self-regulatory skill, diet quantity, and diet
quality of Malaysian healthcare university students:
A cross-sectional study
Ching Li Lee, Jamilah Abd Jamil, Jia Tian Chang, Kar Xsin Yap, Hsin Yuen Yap & Wei Jin Khoo
Introduction: The ability to self-regulate eating can improve health. This study aimed to determine the relationship between eating self-regulatory skills, diet quantity, and diet quality among Malaysian university students.
Methods: This cross-sectional study involved 132 university students. Eating self-regulatory skill was assessed using the Self-Regulation of Eating Behaviour Questionnaire (SREBQ). Dietary intakes from two 24-hour dietary recalls were used to assess diet quantity and quality. Diet quantity was measured as energy and macronutrient intakes, analysed using NutritionistPro. Diet quality was measured using the Malaysian Healthy Eating Index (M-HEI). The relationship between eating self-regulatory skills, diet quantity, and diet quality were evaluated using tests for differences between means and multiple linear regression.
Results: Male participants (n=47) consumed more energy than female participants (n=85) (Male: 1850±570 kcal/day, Female: 1596±567 kcal/day, p=0.015). Participants from the Nutrition and Dietetics (N&D) course (n=49) had better M-HEI scores than participants from other health courses (n=83) (N&D course: 52.7±10.5, non-N&D course: 47.2±10.7, p=0.005). The predictors of energy intake were gender (β=-0.193, p=0.023) and SREBQ score (β=- 0.223, p=0.009). Being female and having higher eating self-regulatory skills were associated with lower energy intake. The predictors of diet quality were university course (β=0.240, p=0.005) and SREBQ score (β=0.181, p=0.033). Studying N&D and having higher eating self-regulatory skills were associated with higher M-HEI scores.
Conclusion: Higher self-regulation of eating behaviour score is a factor that contributes to lower daily energy intake and higher diet quality score.
Key words: diet quality, diet quantity, self-regulation, university students
Associations between body mass index and physical
activity level with mindful eating behaviour among
undergraduate medical students of Universiti Sains
Nurul Zulaikha Talib, Shu Qing Ang, Juliana Shamsudin & Zafirah Mohd Nor
Introduction: Mindful eating is being fully present in the moment of eating and it is critical in preventing poor eating habits. The main objective for this study was to determine the associations of body mass index (BMI) and physical activity level with mindful eating behaviour among undergraduate medical students of Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Health Campus, Kubang Kerian, Kelantan.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 158 students (Years 1-5; 69% females and 31% males) by using a self-administered online questionnaire consisting of socio-demographic data, anthropometric data, short version of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ), and Mindful Eating Questionnaire (MEQ). The associations between BMI and physical activity with MEQ were determined by Spearman’s Correlation and One-Way ANOVA or Kruskal-Wallis Test, respectively.
Results: Majority of the students had normal BMI (66.4%, n=105), and 39.9% (n=63) had low physical activity levels. The mean MEQ summary score of the students was considered high (2.82±0.26). There was a significant negative association between MEQ summary score (r=-0.191; p=0.016) and disinhibition subscale score (r=-0.340; p<0.001) with BMI, whereby MEQ summary and disinhibition subscale scores increased as BMI decreased. However, there was no significant association between physical activity level with MEQ score (p>0.05).
Conclusion: A student with positive mindful eating behaviour has the potential to lower his/her BMI. However, further research is required to verify this finding.
Key words: body mass index (BMI), medical students, mindful eating behaviour, physical activity