2 June 2015 – International Medical University’s Dean of the School of Health Sciences Prof Khor Geok Lin, is the winner of the NSM Publication Prize 2015 from the Nutrition Society of Malaysia (NSM). Prof Khor’s winning paper under the category of “Dairy Nutrition” was titled “Milk Drinking Patterns among Malaysian Urban Children of Different Household Income Status” and published in Journal of Nutrition and Health Sciences. Milk consumption is popular in Malaysia especially the younger ages. Cow’s milk is well recognised as a highly nutritious food particularly rich in nutrients that are essential for bone mineralisation. Growing children with prolonged low intake of cow’s milk are associated with poor bone health. Nonetheless, there is a lack of quantitative data on milk consumption by children in Malaysia. Owing to the lack of information on milk drinking patterns among Malaysian children, Prof Khor and her team had conducted a study with the main objectives of determining the amounts and types of milk consumed by children aged 1-10 years, comparing the amounts of milk consumed by the children with the recommendation of the Malaysian Dietary Guidelines for 73 children and adolescents of the Ministry of Health (MOH), and comparing the amounts of milk consumed by the different age groups from low to high household income categories.
The study was done on a sample of 749 children aged 1-10 years in the metropolitan areas of Kuala Lumpur. Approximately similar proportions of children were selected from low, middle and high household income categories. Socioeconomic background, dietary intake based on 24-hour recall and food records, were obtained for each child.
From the study, it was reported that prevalence of milk drinking was highest among aged 1-3 years (90.6%) followed by 86.1% aged 4-6 years, and 73.7% among ages 7-10 years. The youngest age group consumed averagely 3.5 (3.1-3.8) cups (200ml/cup) of milk daily, exceeding the recommendation of 2-3 cups a day by the Ministry of Health, Malaysia. There were no significant differences in the mean amounts of milk consumed among ages 1-3 years from low to high income categories. Children aged 4-6 years consumed, on average, 2.2 (1.9-2.4) cups/day, which is within the MOH recommendation, while that for ages 7-10 years, at 1.07 (0.9-1.2) cups/day, is below the recommendation.
Prof Khor and team highly recommended that parents of young children should be advised on the nutritional importance of providing foods from a variety of sources, so that the children obtain the right balance and mix of nutrients for optimum growth. On the other hand, older children of 7-10 years on average consumed milk below the recommended amounts, and thus should be encouraged to increase their intake of dairy products and foods rich in nutrients essential for meeting bone mass demands during puberty.
Prof Khor and the co-authors had kindly donated their prize of RM2,000 to IMU’s fund for the Nepal’s earthquake victims. Reference Khor GL, Shariff ZM, Sariman S, Huang SLM, Mohamad M, Chan YM, Chin YS, Yusof BNM. Milk drinking patterns among Malaysian urban children of different household income status. Journal of Nutrition and Health Sciences, 2014; 1(4): 405. Related articles: IMU’s Dean, School of Health Sciences Conferred title of Emeritus Professor by UPM IMU’s Dean, School of Health SciencesElected as Fellow of the Academy of Sciences Malaysia IMU School of Health Sciences Dean is the only Invited Panelist from Malaysia at Micronutrient Forum Global Conference