Promoting Malaysians to Spend on Health: What It Takes to Encourage Malaysians to Spend on Health Promotion?


  • Yong Kang Cheah School of Economics, Finance and Banking, College of Business, Universiti Utara Malaysia, 06010 UUM Sintok, Kedah Darul Aman, Malaysia.


Demography - disease - health promotion - lifestyle - prevention.



In light of the important role of health-promoting expenditure in health, the objective of this study was to investigate the socio-demographic determinants of health-promoting expenditure such as purchase of medical equipment and services, food supplements and health education services and products among Malaysian adults.


Third National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS III) consisting of 28771 observations was used for analysis. It was the latest nationally representative cross-sectional population-based survey conducted by the Ministry of Health Malaysia from April 2006 to January 2007. A censored regression model (Tobit) was applied to examine the factors affecting health-promoting expenditure.


The results showed that age, income, gender, ethnicity, education, marital status, employment status and location of residence were able to affect health-promoting expenditure. In particular, individuals who were younger, poor, males, Indian/others, less educated, unmarried, unemployed and residing in rural areas tended to spend less money on health promotion compared to others.


This study reached a conclusion that socio-demographic factors were significantly associated with individual’s preferences for health promotion. Therefore, the government should devote its attention to these factors when formulating nationwide health policies.



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How to Cite

Cheah, Y. K. (2014). Promoting Malaysians to Spend on Health: What It Takes to Encourage Malaysians to Spend on Health Promotion?. International Journal of Public Health Research, 4(1), 391–398. Retrieved from