Overweight and obesity among Malay primary school children in Kota Bharu, Kelantan: parental beliefs, attitudes and child feeding practices.Malays J Nutr. 2012 Apr; 18(1):27-36.MJ
The increasing prevalence of overweight and obesity among children has become a major public health problem in Malaysia. Parents play an important role in child feeding especially among younger children.
A study was conducted to evaluate the beliefs, attitudes and practices in child feeding among parents of normal weight, as well as overweight and obese primary school children in Kelantan using the Child Feeding Questionnaire (CFQ). This cross-sectional study was carried out on 175 Malay children from three schools in Kota Bharu district in Kelantan.
This study showed that 13.1% of the children were overweight and obese. Scores for perceived parent weight (p < 0.05) and perceived child weight (p < 0.001) were significantly higher among parents of overweight and obese children compared to parents of children with normal body weight. However, the score for pressure to eat among parents of overweight and obese children was significantly lower (p < 0.05) than parents of normal weight children. The perceived child weight (r = 0.468, p < 0.01), perceived parental weight (r = 0.190, p < 0.05) and food restriction (r = 0.179, p < 0.05) factors were found to be positively correlated with children's body mass index (BMI), whereas pressure to eat factor (r = -0.355, p < 0.01) was negatively correlated with children's body mass index (BMI).
The findings showed that parental feeding practices were linked to children's weight status and childhood obesity. Therefore parents should be given education and guidance on appropriate child feeding practices to maintain their child's nutritional status on a healthy weight range.