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K Lew, PJ Barlow
Correspondence: Dr Philip John Barlow, email@example.com
Introduction This study sets out to investigate any differences in dietary practices between adolescents in Singapore and Malaysia.
Methods An adolescent dietary practices survey was conducted in Singapore and Malaysia involving 200 adolescents (100 from each country) aged 11 to 21 years in order to have a better understanding of the adolescents' dietary practices. Dietary practices were assessed by a self-administered dietary practices questionnaire (DPQ).
Results The major differences identified between adolescents' dietary practices in Singapore and Malaysia are related to alcohol consumption and venue for taking of lunch. More Malaysian adolescents have their lunch prepared at home (32.9 percent), compared with 7.2 percent of Singaporean adolescents. More adolescents in Malaysia drink alcohol (49.4 percent), compared with only 21.7 percent of Singaporean adolescents.
Conclusion From the dietary practices survey of adolescents from Singapore and Malaysia, it may be concluded that while general dietary practices are similar, the major differences identified were significantly (p-value is less than 0.05) higher alcohol consumption by Malaysian adolescents and significantly (p-value is less than 0.05) more Malaysians took their lunch at home compared with Singaporeans. The reasons for the differences are discussed in the paper.
Keywords: adolescent dietary practice, diet, food habits, nutritional behaviour
Singapore Med J 2005; 46(6): 282-288