Diet quality and weight status among adult women at Tuba Island, Langkawi, Malaysia
Keywords:Diet quality, weight status, adult women, rural, healthy eating index
The prevalence of overweight and obesity in rural regions is high due to low income and limited access to nutritious foods. This is contributed by geographical areas which limit the access to availability and healthy nutritious foods. Thus, this study aimed to determine the prevalence of weight status, diet quality, and its association among adult women in Tuba Island. In this cross-sectional study, a structured questionnaire consisting of sociodemographic characteristics, 24-hour diet recall, and the Malaysian Healthy Eating Index (HEI) was administered. Weight and height were measured. HEI was used to identify the level of diet quality in this population. A total of 114 respondents aged between 18 to 45 years old were involved. 43% (n=49) and 26.3% (n=30) of them were overweight and obese respectively. While 28.1% (n=32) had normal weight status. The mean score of HEI was 42.44 ± 7.49 indicating poor diet quality. Further investigation showed they had poor compliance to meet dietary guidelines for vegetables, fruits, legumes, and milk and milk products. Nonetheless, diet quality was not found to be associated with weight status in this population. The present study showed that more than half of adult women at Tuba Island were overweight and obese, and their diet quality was poor. However, there was no association between them, hence further study with more sample size is required.