Medical Journal of Malaysia

MJM, Vol 70 Supplement 1 September 2015

Nutrient intake among Malaysian adults: Do they meet the requirement of the Malaysian recommended nutrient intake?

Nur Azna Mahmud, Noraida Mohd Kassim, Mohd Hasnan Ahmad, Ahmad Ali Zainuddin, Wan Shakira Rodzlan Hasani

Institute for Public Health, 50590 Kuala Lumpur


Introduction: Good nutrient intake will ensure optimum work performance and delay the onset of generative diseases. The aim of this study is to determine the prevalence of nutrient intake among Malaysian adults in compliance with the Recommended Nutrient Intake (RNI).

Method: The interactive 24-hour dietary recall was conducted to assess all foods and drinks consumed by 3000 respondents in the Malaysian Adult Nutrition Survey (MANS) 2014. Food album and standard local household utensils were used to assist nutritionist during the interview sessions. Respondent selection was based on complex, stratified, multistage probability sampling among adults aged 18 to 59 years old nationwide.

Results: The overall prevalence of Malaysian adults that met the RNI of the macronutrients were 23% (95% CI: 20.9-25.2) for calorie, 40.2% (95% CI: 37.8-42.7) for carbohydrate, 40.4% (95% CI: 37.9-43.0) for protein and 3.4% (95% CI: 2.7-4.4) for fat. By gender, the prevalence of adults who met RNI among females and males were 26.1% (95% CI: 23.5-28.9) vs. 20.1% (95% CI: 17.3-23.3) for calorie, 41.5% (95% CI: 38.3-44.7) vs. 39.1% (95% CI: 35.6-42.7) for carbohydrate, 41.5% (95% CI: 38.3-44.8) vs. 39.4% (95% CI: 35.9-43.0) for protein and 3.7% (95% CI: 2.7-5.1) vs. 3.1% (95% CI: 2.2-4.5) for fat.  About 10.6%, 6.3%, 50.7% and 94.9% of Malaysian adults were found to be over the RNI, whilst 66.5%, 53.5%, 8.8%, 1.7, % were found to have below the RNI for calorie, carbohydrate, protein and fat respectively.

Conclusion: Nutrient intake among Malaysian adults is a concern as less than 50% of Malaysian adults achieved the RNI for all macronutrients. Prompt action must be taken holistically especially in order to improve nutritional well-being and health status of Malaysian adults. 

Keywords: Malaysian adult, nutrient intake, recommended nutrient intake