ASSOCIATION BETWEEN FREQUENCY OF EATING AND EATING OUTSIDE WITH ‘OVERWEIGHT AND OBESITY’ AMONG POSTGRADUATE AFRICAN STUDENTS IN A PUBLIC UNIVERSITY IN MALAYSIA
Background: Higher frequency of eating and eating outside has been reported to be associated with ‘overweight and obesity’ (i.e.body mass index (BMI) ≥ 25kg/m2). This study aimed to determine the associations between ‘overweight and obesity’ and frequency of eating and eating outside, among postgraduate African students in a public university in Malaysia.
Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted using a pretested self-administered questionnaire and body weight and height was measured to calculate BMI. Respondents were asked to recall eating frequency as well as frequency of eating outside for two days (which include one weekday and one weekend day). Data was analysed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 23.
Result: The response rate was 87% (559 students). About 64.6% of them were ‘overweight and obese’. There was a significant association between ‘overweight and obese’ and higher frequency of eating (during the weekdays and weekend days) (p < 0.001) and eating outside (p<0.002).
Conclusion: Being ‘overweight and obese’ were positively associated with higher frequency of eating as well as higher frequency of eating outside among the respondents.Keywords: Frequency of eating, Eating outside, Body mass index (BMI), Postgraduate African students, overweight, obese