Medical Journal of Malaysia

MJM, Vol 70 Supplement 1 September 2015

The prevalence of meal patterns among Malaysia Adults: Findings from MANS 2014

Yeo Pei Sien*, Mohamad Aznuddin Abd Razak*, Norhafizah Sahril*, Ahmad Nadzri Jai*, Nazli Suhardi Ibrahim**, Hamid Jan Jan Mohamed***

*Institute for Public Health, Ministry of Health Malaysia, **Department of Nutrition, Ministry of Health Malaysia, ***Health Science Study Center, Universiti Sains Malaysia


Introduction: There is significant change in the meal patterns of Malaysians for the past two decades. Meal patterns can contribute to the energy intakes and related to the nutritional status. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of meal patterns among Malaysian adults.

Method: Data were extracted from the Malaysian Adults Nutrition Survey (MANS) 2014, a nationwide study conducted by Ministry of Health Malaysia using multistage stratified cluster sampling involving 2893 participants throughout Malaysia. Structured questionnaires and face-to-face interview were used in data collection activity. Descriptive analysis was conducted using complex survey design.

Results: Generally, 93.7% (95% CI: 92.43-94.84) Malaysian adults took breakfast with higher prevalence among female 94.9% (95% CI: 92.99-96.33) and in urban areas 94.5% (95% CI: 92.71-95.83). Overall, 94.5% (95% CI: 93.34-95.44) of adults were reported to take lunch. More adults in East Malaysia took lunch with 97.1% (95% CI: 95.76-98.07) compared to Peninsular Malaysia. The results indicated that 96.4% (95% CI: 95.40-97.11) of participants took their dinners. While 31.9% (95% CI: 29.38-34.54) were reported to take heavy meals after dinner. The prevalence of having heavy meals after dinner among male was significantly higher (39.3%; 95% CI: 36.01-42.75) than female. More than half of adults had their meals at home and majority ate with their family for all main meals.

Conclusion: High prevalence of consumption of heavy meal after dinner was reported. The findings of this study showed that there is still a need to promote healthy meal pattern among adults in Malaysia.

Keywords: Meal pattern, Malaysian adults, Malaysian Adults Nutrition Survey