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Food consumption patterns and nutrition transition in South-East Asia

  • Nur Indrawaty Lipoeto (a1), Khor Geok Lin (a2) and Imelda Angeles-Agdeppa (a3)

Abstract

Objective

The present study was done to confirm the relationship between changes in food patterns and nutrition transition in three South-East Asian countries, namely the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Design

This was a cross-sectional study conducted between August 2008 and August 2009 using three methods: interviews, focus group discussions and analyses of government reports.

Setting

The study was conducted in rural and urban areas in Manila and Calabanga (Philippines), Selangor and Kuala Selangor (Malaysia), and Padang, Pariaman Tanah Datar and Limapuluh Kota (West Sumatra, Indonesia).

Subjects

Adults aged 18 to 77 years.

Results

The results showed that Filipinos, Malaysians and Indonesians have retained many aspects of their traditional diets. In fact, most participants in the study considered Western-style and franchise fast foods as snack or recreational foods to be consumed once in a while only. However, a significant difference was noted between urban and rural areas in food varieties consumed. Participants in urban areas consumed more varieties of traditional foods owing to their availability and the participants’ food purchasing power. Although traditional food patterns were maintained by most of the participants, more sugar and vegetable oils were consumed and added to the traditional recipes.

Conclusions

The rapid nutrition transition in this region may be due, instead, to increasing food availability and food purchasing power, rather than to a shift in food preferences towards modern Western foods.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: Email indra.liputo@gmail.com

References

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