• Factors Associated with Breakfast Skipping among School-going Adolescents in Sarawak, Malaysia

    Mal J Nutr 19(3): 401 – 407, 2013

    Factors Associated with Breakfast Skipping among School-going Adolescents in Sarawak, Malaysia 
    Law LS, Mohd Nasir MT & Hazizi AS
    Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia


    Introduction: Breakfast skipping is an unhealthy eating behaviour reportedly common among adolescents. A cross-sectional study was carried out to determine the differences in body weight status, socio-demographic, behavioural, and psychological characteristics between daily breakfast takers and breakfast skippers. Methods: Data were collected from form four students of four randomly selected secondary schools in Sibu, Sarawak using a self-administered questionnaire. Body weight and height were measured using standard procedures and BMI-for-age z-scores were determined. Results: A total of 375 students were recruited (male: 32.0%, female: 68.0%; Chinese: 39.5%, than: 26.4%, Malay: 17.1% and Melanau: 17.1%; mean age = 16.45 � 0.53 years). The prevalence rate of breakfast skippers at 40.3% was higher compared to the national prevalence of 32.7%. About 19.7% of the students were found to be at risk of eating disorders. In addition, the prevalence rates of overweight and obesity were 10.9% and 7.7%, respectively. Significant associations were found between breakfast skipping with sex, lunch skipping, dinner skipping, eating attitudes, and body weight status. Binary logistic regression analysis showed that female students and those who skipped lunch or dinner were more likely to skip breakfast. Conclusion: Breakfast skipping was quite common in this sample of adolescents in Sarawak. As frequent breakfast skipping has negative health and academic performance implications, increased nutrition education and health awareness campaigns on the importance of breakfast taking among school students should be undertaken. 

    Keywords: Adolescents, breakfast skipping behaviour, socio-demography, Sarawak

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