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Sabrina Premila Joseph Louis 1 Article
Socio-demographic disparities in the eating behaviour of Malaysian children during the COVID-19 lockdown
Sabrina Premila Joseph Louis, Tan Seok Tyug
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2021;12(3):196-199.   Published online May 26, 2021
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2021.0053
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AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
This cross-sectional study aimed to investigate the eating behaviour of Malaysian children aged 2 to 11 years old during the Movement Control Order (MCO) due to the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.
Methods
A total of 204 Malaysian parents of children aged 2 to 11 years old were recruited for this study using a combination of purposive and snowball sampling approaches. Parents were required to fill an online questionnaire hosted on Google Forms, which consisted of socio-demographic characteristics (including child’s gender, age, and ethnicity, as well as parental income during the MCO) and a 35-item list from the Children’s Eating Behaviour Questionnaire (CEBQ). Data analysis was conducted by further stratifying the children's eating behaviour according to socio-demographic characteristics.
Results
No significant differences were observed in the eating behaviour of the children across age and parental income groups during the MCO. Malaysian Indian children had significantly lower mean scores for the food responsiveness (2.50±0.64) and emotional over-eating (2.13±0.72) subscales than Malaysian Chinese children. Girls had a significantly higher mean score for the slowness in eating subscale during the MCO than boys.
Conclusion
Children’s eating behaviour were comparable across socio-demographic characteristics. Nonetheless, the findings of the current study provide an overview of Malaysian children's eating behaviour during the MCO.

PHRP : Osong Public Health and Research Perspectives