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Int J Prev Med. 2013 Jun;4(6):690-9.

The coexistence of dual form of malnutrition in a sample of rural malaysia.

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Department of Community Medicine, School of Medical Sciences, Health Campus, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Kubang Kerian, 16150, Kelantan, Malaysia.



The coexistence of under and over nutrition might be influenced by a marked shift in dietary and lifestyle practices of people in developing countries. This study aims to identify factors associated with the occurrence of dual form of malnutrition in the same households in a rural district in Peninsular Malaysia.


A cross sectional study was conducted on a 223 mother-child pairs based on several inclusion criteria such as; non-pregnant, non lactating mothers and having youngest children aged from 2 to 12 years old. Anthropometric indices of Weight-for-age Z score (WAZ) ≤ 1SD was used to classify underweight status in children and body mass index (BMI) ≥25kg/m(2) was used to measure overweight status among mothers. A pre-tested questionnaire was used to collect socio-demographic data, whereas food frequency questionnaire was used to assess the diet diversity.


The results showed that the prevalence of overweight mother/underweight child (OWM/UWC) pairs was 29.6%, whereas the prevalence of normal weight mother/normal weight child (NWM/NWC) pairs was 15.2%. Out of mother-child pairs measured, 61.0% of the children were underweight and 61.4% were stunted, whereas the prevalence of overweight and obesity in women were 35.0% and 17.0%, respectively. The study did not report any association between the dual burden of malnutrition and household size, number of children, educational level of the mother, total income, income per capita, and food expenditure, except with household type (OR:5.01;95% CI:1.63,15.34; P = 0.005). In general, the total diet diversity score of both types of mother-child pairs was low.


Dual forms of malnutrition in the same household exists in Malaysian households. This phenomenon will be a big challenge especially for food intervention programs to be implemented in the future.


Dual form malnutrition; overweight; underweight


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