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Asia Pac J Public Health. 2011 Apr;23(2):192-202. doi: 10.1177/1010539509359535. Epub 2010 May 10.

Sociodemographic and health-lifestyle determinants of obesity risks in Malaysia.

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Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia.


The purpose of this study was to examine the sociodemographic and health-lifestyle factors that affect the likelihood of obesity among Malaysians. Data were obtained from the Malaysian Non-Communicable Disease Surveillance-1. The cross-sectional population-based survey consisted of 2447 observations, with an obesity prevalence rate of 17.2%. Based on logit regression analysis, the results suggest that obesity risks in Malaysia are affected by gender, education level, family history, health conditions, smoking status, and ethnic backgrounds. Specifically, Malaysians more likely to be obese are females (5.3%), lower educated (0.9%), those with history of family illnesses (4.8%), and nonsmokers (6.4%). However, Chinese (9.3%) and other (5.5%) ethnic groups are less likely to be obese when compared with Malays. Based on these results, several policy implications are discussed vis-à-vis obesity risks in Malaysia.

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