MEAL SKIPPING: PREDICTORS OF WEIGHT STATUS FROM A NATIONALLY REPRESENTATIVE ADOLESCENTS SAMPLE
Background: Main meals which include breakfast, lunch, and dinner is crucial to ensure healthy growth and development of an adolescent. This study aims to determine the prevalence of main meals intake and its association with body weight among adolescents in Malaysia.
Materials and Methods: Data were obtained from the Adolescent Health Survey (ANS) 2017. This survey successfully recruited about 40,000 students from standard 4 to form 5 from randomly selected school in Malaysia. A set questions for habitual meal pattern practice were asked, and anthropometric, which is weight and height were also taken. Weighted sample analysis was applied as the data is representative of the population.
Result: Prevalence of daily consumption of breakfast, lunch and dinner among Malaysian adolescent was 30.0%, 47.7% and 52.8% respectively. About 10.1% of adolescent did not take breakfast at all in a week, and it was highest compared to lunch (2.9%) and dinner (3.1%). The prevalence of entire week breakfast skipper was higher in urban (11.2%) compared to rural (8.8%) and among female (11.1%) compared to male (9.1%). Logistic regression after adjusted for sociodemographic characteristics found those who skipped dinner, breakfast and lunch were significantly associated with overweight or obese by the odds 1.33, 1.17 and 1.16, respectively.
Conclusion: At this rapid growth phase, adolescents must be avoiding to skip main meals as it associated with overweight and obesity. Family, school and other related agencies must play a role in providing proper schedule and environment for adolescents to ensure they are not skipping any main meals.
Keywords: Meal skipping, weight status, adolescent, national survey, Malaysia