Vegetarian practices, body composition and dietary intake among Hindus and Buddhists in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia
Keywords:Vegetarians, Hinduism, Buddhists, Nutritional status, Dietary intake
Though vegetarians own the privilege of a wide range of health benefits and of much lower risk of many diseases, they are also cut off many essential nutritional values. This study aimed to determine the vegetarian practices, body composition and dietary intake of vegetarians among Hindus and Buddhists in Kuching, Sarawak. Using questionnaire and anthropometric measurement, this cross-sectional study was carried out in Hindu and Buddhist temples in Kuching. Data was entered and analysed using SPSS version 22. A total of 114 respondents participated in the study, with mean age of 45.8 years (SD±16.01), females (57%), and majority Buddhists (81.6%). Majority of the respondents were on lacto-ovo vegetarian diet (71%) with more among the Hindus. More than half of the respondents were overweight and obese (64.1%). About 58% of the respondents were found to have abnormal waist circumference and 78.1% with over fat percentage. Buddhist respondents consumed more carbohydrates than Hindus. Hindu respondents consume more macro-nutrients such as protein and fat with a mean intake of 102.9 g (SD ±34.60) and 20.9 % of total energy intake respectively and more micro-nutrients. Vegetarian diet does not warranty healthy body as the quality and quantity of the food intake can influence the nutritional status of a person. Knowledge on choice of food should be imparted to improve their health status.
South East Asia Journal of Public Health Vol.8(1) 2018: 3-9
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