Malnutrition among Malaysian Adolescents: Findings from National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS) 2011


  • Azli Baharudin Center for Nutrition Epidemiology Research


Obesity - Thinness - Adolescents - CDC2000 - Malaysia.



Malnutrition can be associated as one of the factors which affect health status. The term is used to describe imbalance of nutrients either over- or under-nourished, resulting in measurable adverse effects on body composition, function and clinical outcome.


The National Health And Morbidity Survey (NHMS) 2011 assessed 4304 individuals aged 10-17 years old through a household survey of Malaysian population. Thinness and obesity are the malnutrition indicators based on Centre for Disease Control (CDC) 2000 classification as recommended by WHO (2007).


The findings of the survey showed that the national prevalence of thinness (BMI for age <-2SD), was 9.7% (95% Confidence Interval: 8.4-11.2). The state of Sabah/Labuan had the highest thinness of prevalence, 17.0% (11.1-25.2) and lowest in Penang at 5.3% (2.7-10.0). The prevalence of thinness was higher in urban areas than in rural areas at 10.3% (8.5-12.3). Meanwhile; national prevalence of obesity (BMI for age ≥+2SD) was only 5.7% (4.9-6.7). The state of Perak had the highest obesity prevalence 10.0% (6.2-15.8) and lowest in Sabah/Labuan at 2.4% (1.4-4.1). The obesity prevalence was higher among adolescents in urban areas at 6.3% (5.2-7.6) than in rural areas.


Thinness as a form of malnutrition is more prevalent than obesity. Even though the prevalence of obesity is low, the impact affects not only the adolescents, but also the family, the society and the nation in the future. The increasing prevalence of obesity will have significant public health implication related to non-communicable diseases.



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How to Cite

Baharudin, A. (2013). Malnutrition among Malaysian Adolescents: Findings from National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS) 2011. International Journal of Public Health Research, 3(2), 282–289. Retrieved from