Medical Journal of Malaysia

MJM, Vol 70 Supplement 1 September 2015

Prevalence of obesity and association with the level of physical activities among patients attending health clinics in Kedah

Mohd Sa’ad Natrah*, Sivabalan Thava Viknaraj**, Law Kar Wai**, Abu Hassan Rafidah***

*Pejabat Kesihatan Bandar Baharu, Kedah, **Klinik Kesihatan Serdang, Bandar Baharu, ***Klinik Kesihatan Lubuk Buntar, Bandar Baharu, **Ganesan Renuggha, Klinik Kesihatan Serdang, Bandar Baharu


Introduction: As Malaysia progress rapidly towards a developed economic status, non-communicable diseases become increasingly prevalent among the population. A country moving at this pace reduces the opportunity of physical activity which is a risk factor related to increase in obesity. The objective of the study is to determine the prevalence and factors associated with obesity and its relationship with level of physical activity.

Method: A cross-sectional study involving a total of 323 respondents age >18 years old who were selected by systematic random sampling from all 3 government clinics in the district of Bandar Baharu, Kedah, were given a self-administered questionnaire on basic demographics and the validated Malay version of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) between April to June 2015. Data collected were analysed using SPSS version 19.0.

Results: Using the World Health Organization (WHO) classification of Body Mass Index (BMI), 38.4% of respondents are overweight and 28.5% are obese. There is a significant association between BMI categories and age, gender, family history and hypertensive respondents. Female, younger respondents as well as hypertensive respondents are significantly overweight and obese (p<0.05). Those with family history of obesity are also more in overweight and obese BMI category. More than half (51.1%) of the respondents are active and 44.6% of respondents were minimally active. There is a significant negative correlation between Body Mass Index (BMI) and physical activity.

Conclusion: Targeted group interventions should be implemented in order to reduce the prevalence of overweight and obesity in the population of Bandar Baharu. As physical activity remains as an indicator for reducing obesity, the focus of it should be well established.