Medical Journal of Malaysia

MJM, Vol 70 Supplement 1 September 2015

Changes in food choices among Malaysian adults: A Comparison between Malaysian Adults Nutrition Survey (MANS) 2003 and MANS 2014

Noraida Mohamad Kasim, Mohamad Hasnan Ahmad, Balkish Mahadir Naidu, Azli Baharudin

Institute for Public Health, National Institutes of Health, Ministry of Health Malaysia


Introduction: Food choices are known to be associated with general health. This study was conducted to determine the changes in food choices among Malaysian adults from year 2003 to year 2014 using secondary data from MANS 2003 and MANS 2014.

Method: A total of 6,742 and 3000 adults aged 18 to 59 years were recruited in MANS 2003 and MANS 2014 respectively. Both studies used a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) to evaluate habitual food intake among adults in Malaysia and data was analysed using SPSS and Stata.

Results: MANS 2003 reported that cooked rice was consumed by 97% of the population twice daily, whereas MANS 2014 showed only 89.9%. Other common food items consumed daily by Malaysian adults were marine fish (40.8%), green leafy vegetables (39.9%) and sweetened condensed milk (35.6%). This was different with MANS 2014 whereby sugar (white, brown, Melaka) (55.9%), was commonly consumed, followed by leafy green vegetables (43.2%) and marine fish (29.4%). MANS 2003 and 2014 both reported mean frequencies for daily intake of white rice, sugar, leafy green vegetables and marine fish to be significantly higher among males compared to females. Both studies showed that men consumed chicken and eggs more frequently. Malaysian adults demonstrated a good habit of drinking plain water daily with 99% in MANS 2003 and 98.2% in MANS 2014. Common consumed beverages in MANS 2003 were tea (47%), coffee (28%) and chocolate-based drinks (23%), whereas in MANS 2014 were tea 70.3%, malted drink 59.1% and coffee 53.2%.

Conclusion: In conclusion, there was a reduction in the prevalence of staple food consumption among adults whilst sugar consumption rose to second place over a 10 years period.

Keywords: food consumption, food choices, food pattern, food intake, Malaysian Adults Nutrition Survey