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Exploring the Underpinnings of Ethnicity, Gender and Body Image as Determinants of the Eating Habits of Malaysian Youth
This study investigated relationship between gender, ethnicity, and body image with eating habits of Malaysian youth aged 17-35 years (Malays 148, Chinese 103, Indians 53, Others 5). Of 309 respondents, 195 were female and 114 were male. Questionnaire was adapted from the Eating Attitude Test-26 (EAT-26), the Body Shape Questionnaire (BSQ), the Body Image-Acceptance and Action Questionnaire (BI-AAQ) and the Figure Rating Scale (FRS) to explore the differences in perceptions among ethnicity and gender regarding body image as well as eating habits. The association between body image and eating habits was also explored. Findings showed that females preferred slimmer bodies and youth of Indian descent had a higher body satisfaction. Respondents’ fear of gaining weight do not determine their practice of unhealthy eating habits such as skipping meals or eating less as other studies have suggested. For future research, Body Mass Index (BMI) of the respondents to be taken into consideration.
Dr. Gul Muhammad Baloch
Senior Lecturer, School of Medicine, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Taylor’s University, Malaysia
Dr. Pasand Ali Khoso
Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Sindh, Jamshoro, Sindh, Pakistan
Dr. Sumera Irum
Assistant Professor, Faculty of Education, University of Sindh, Jamshoro, Sindh, Pakistan
Body Image, Eating Habits, Ethnicity, Gender, Malaysian Youth