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Child feeding practices, food habits, anthropometric indicators and cognitive performance among preschoolers in Peninsular Malaysia
- Mohd Nasir, Mohd Taib, Norimah, Abdul Karim, Hazizi, Abu Saad, Nurliyana, Abdul Razak, Loh, Siow Hon, Suraya, Ibrahim
- Appetite 2012 v.58 no.2 pp. 525-530
- breakfast, child nutrition, cognition, dinner, foods, growth retardation, household income, metrology, nutrition knowledge, obesity, parents, preschool children, risk, secondary education, underweight, Malaysia
- This study aimed to determine the relationship between child feeding practices, food habits, and anthropometric indicators with cognitive performance of preschoolers aged 4–6years in Peninsular Malaysia (n=1933). Parents were interviewed on socio-demographic background, nutrition knowledge, child feeding practices and food habits. Height and weight of the preschoolers were measured; BMI-for-age, weight-for-age and height-for-age were determined. Cognitive performance was assessed using Raven’s Colored Progressive Matrices. The mean monthly household income was RM3610 and 59.6% of parents attained secondary education. Thirty-three percent of parents had good knowledge on nutrition, 39% satisfactory and 28% poor. For child feeding practices, perceived responsibility had the highest mean score (M=3.99, SD=0.72), while perceived child weight had the lowest (M=2.94, SD=0.38). The prevalence of possible risk of overweight, being overweight, and obesity were 3.9%, 7.9% and 8.1%, respectively, whereas the prevalence of underweight and stunting were 8.0% and 8.4%, respectively. Breakfast was the second most frequently skipped meal (16.8%) after dinner (18.1%). The mean cognitive score was 103.5 (SD=14.4). Height-for-age and consumption of dinner were found to contribute significantly towards cognitive performance after controlling for socio-demographic background and parent’s nutrition knowledge.