DETERMINANTS OF OVERWEIGHT AND OBESITY AMONG UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS IN A PUBLIC UNIVERSITY, MALAYSIA
Background: Overweight and obesity among young adults have been increasing for the past 15 years and is an emerging public health concern all over the world, including Malaysia. This study aimed to explore determinants of overweight and obesity among undergraduate students residing in a public university.
Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study using random sampling was conducted in three residential colleges. Independent variables include socio-demographic factors, knowledge on physical activity and dietary intake, healthy lifestyle (physical activity, dietary intake, sleep duration and quality and smoking status) and stress. Data was collected using a validated and reliable self-administered questionnaire and anthropometric measurement (weight and height were measured to determine body mass index). IBM Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) version 23 was conducted for data analysis. Multiple logistic regression was employed to assess determinants of overweight and obesity among the respondents. Significant level was set at alpha less than 0.05.
Result: A total of 494 respondents participated with 98.8% response rate. Overweight and obesity prevalence among the respondents was 31.7% with 19.8% and 11.9% of the respondents were overweight and obese respectively. The significant determinants were age group of 24 years and above (AOR=2.67, 95% CI =1.297-5.500, p=0.04), male (AOR=1.82, 95% CI =1.210-2.732, p=0.04), Malay ethnicity (AOR=5.34, 95% CI =1.560-18.283, p=0.008) and Indian ethnicity (AOR=7.16, 95% CI =1.410-36.311, p = 0.018).
Conclusion: Overweight and obesity prevalence among undergraduate students were high. Programmes and policies should be directed to these high-risk groups as identified in this study.Keywords: Overweight, obesity, undergraduate students, prevalence, associated factors.