Children's psychosocial factors of healthy meal preparation as predictors for nutritional status measures

Choon Ming Ng, Kaur Satvinder, Hui Chin Koo, Roseline Wai Kuan Yap, Firdaus Mukhtar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Involving school-age children in the preparation of healthy meals is shown to be associated with positive eating behavior. Yet, it remains unclear whether this can extend to their nutritional status. The present study aimed to determine the association of school-age children's psychosocial factors (knowledge, attitude, practice, self-efficacy) towards healthy meal preparation with their nutritional status (BMI-for-age, waist circumference, body fat percentage). Stratified random sampling was used to select primary schools (n = 8) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Two hundred school children aged between 9-11 years old were involved. Psychosocial factors towards healthy meal preparation were assessed using validated questionnaire. Anthropometry measures were determined using standard protocol. Almost half (46 %) of the school-age children were obese/overweight, 39 % were abdominally obese and 40 % were overfat. Approximately half had poor knowledge (49 %), poor practice (45 %), good attitude (56 %) and good self-efficacy (47 %) towards healthy meal preparation. Significant positive correlations were observed between knowledge with attitude (r = 0.23, p < 0.001); knowledge with self-efficacy (r = 0.30, p < 0.001); attitude with practice (r = 0.34, p < 0.001); attitude with self-efficacy (r = 0.59, p < 0.001) and practice with self-efficacy (r = 0.50, p < 0.001). Adjusted logistic regression revealed that school-age children with good attitude were less likely to be abdominally obese (OR = 0.87, 95 % Cl = 0.78 to 0.96) and overfat (OR = 0.84, 95 % Cl = 0.76 to 0.94). Children with good knowledge had lower risk of being abdominally obese (OR = 0.84, 95 % Cl = 0.72 to 0.97). Findings revealed that children's psychosocial factors were interrelated, and improvements may have the potential in affecting nutritional status. Hands-on healthy meal preparation should be explored further as an innovative approach to address the obesity epidemic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)522-530
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • children
  • Malaysia
  • meal preparation
  • nutritional status
  • obesity
  • Psychosocial factors

Cite this