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Unhealthy diet practice and symptoms of stress and depression among adolescents in Pasir Gudang, Malaysia


Tajika, Esra and Abd Latiff, Latiffah and Awang, Hamidin and Adznam, Siti Nur ‘Asyura and Chin, Yit Siew and Abu Bakar, Azrin Shah and Koh, Patricia Chai Hsia and Che Ghazali, Mohd Izudin Hariz (2016) Unhealthy diet practice and symptoms of stress and depression among adolescents in Pasir Gudang, Malaysia. Obesity Research & Clinical Practice, 10 (2). pp. 114-123. ISSN 1871-403X; ESSN: 1878-0318


Background/objective: Missing main meals and an unhealthy snacking pattern can lead to poor diet quality and consequently to the presence of chronic diseases among which mental disorder is no exception. Since there is little research on diet, skipping meals and psychological status in Asian countries, this study tries to determine eating behaviour and predicting symptoms of stress and depression of adolescents in Pasir Gudang, Malaysia. Subjects and methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among Form 1 secondary school-going adolescents (n 1565, response rate: 90%) in southern Malaysia from April to May 2013. A self-administered structured and validated questionnaire (socio-demographic, eating behaviour questionnaire, and depression, anxiety and stress scales (DASS-21)) was used for data collection. Results: Among respondents, 803 (51.3%) were female, 1125 were Malay (71.9%) with a mean age of 13.7 (SD = 0.8) years. Logistic regression analysis indicated that students who were underweight (OR = 3.07, 95% CI 1.21, 7.76), obese (OR = 2.64, 95% CI 1.01, 6.87), used to eat out of home (OR = 1.37, 95% CI 1.28, 2.13), eat dinner (>4 days/week) (OR = 1.59, 95% CI 1.04, 2.43) were more likely to have depression or stress symptoms. Moreover, participants with 4–7 days/week eating breakfast (OR = 0.88, 95% CI 0.21, 0.89) were less likely to be at mild/moderate stress. Conclusions: Findings underscore the effect of unhealthy eating practices among adolescents on mental health. Targeted education should be implemented to improve psychological well-being.

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Additional Metadata

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine and Health Science
DOI Number: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.orcp.2015.06.001
Publisher: Elsevier
Keywords: Adolescents; Snacking; Meal skipping; Stress symptoms; Depression symptoms
Depositing User: Mohd Hafiz Che Mahasan
Date Deposited: 21 Sep 2016 08:18
Last Modified: 21 Sep 2016 08:18
Altmetrics: http://www.altmetric.com/details.php?domain=psasir.upm.edu.my&doi=10.1016/j.orcp.2015.06.001
URI: http://psasir.upm.edu.my/id/eprint/43834
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