A Diabetes and Obesity Crisis: Preliminary Study of Lifestyle, Diet, Knowledge and Attitude of Malaysian Pharmacy Undergraduates Towards Type-2 Diabetes


 Diabetes, Obesity, Community Pharmacy.

How to Cite

Shariza Sahudin, Mumtaz Hussain, Nor Farhah Abdul Ghaffar, & Azyyati Mohd Suhaimi. (2017). A Diabetes and Obesity Crisis: Preliminary Study of Lifestyle, Diet, Knowledge and Attitude of Malaysian Pharmacy Undergraduates Towards Type-2 Diabetes. Journal of Pharmacy and Nutrition Sciences, 7(4), 172–182. https://doi.org/10.6000/1927-5951.2017.07.04.4


Background: Patient education and self-care are important not only for diabetes prevention but also chronic disease management. Community pharmacists are an ideal position to play a role in providing medicines management, lifestyle and preventative advice specific to type-2 diabetes care, Malaysian pharmacists must be ready and willing to firmly establish such clear roles and as such, undergraduate pharmacy students need to be equipped with the skills and mind-set to accept such a challenge
Objective: To explore knowledge and awareness of pharmacy undergraduate students at Universiti Technology MARA (UiTM) towards diabetes risk factors. To identify potential diabetes risk factors by evaluating dietary intake and to determine students’ attitude towards their future roles as health care providers.
Method: 159 Malaysian third-year undergraduate pharmacy students were provided a questionnaire and a two-day food diary. The questionnaire consisted of four sections to examine demographics, lifestyle and diet, together with knowledge of diabetes and the perception of pharmacists’ role.
Results: A total of 113 completed questionnaires were received. 20% of the respondents were overweight or obese and 21% had elevated blood pressure. 95% of students consumed only 50% of the recommend daily calorie intake for adults. Students however possessed good knowledge of diabetes with a positive attitude towards pharmacist roles in healthcare.
Conclusion: Overall, the health status of Malaysian pharmacy students is very similar to the general population, displaying similar risk factors and dietary habits despite their status as future healthcare professionals. Students do however display a good knowledge of diabetes and appear positive towards their roles as future pharmacists.



Mafauzy M, Zanariah H, Nazeri A, Chan SP. DiabCare 2013: A cross-sectional study of hospital based diabetes care delivery and prevention of diabetes related complications in Malaysia. Med J Malaysia 2016; 71(4): 177-185.

Palaian S, Chhetri A, Prabhu M, Rajan S, Shankar P. Role of pharmacist in counseling diabetes patients. Internet J Pharmacol 2005; 4: 1-13.

Mafauzy M, Hussein Z, Chan S. The status of diabetes control in Malaysia: Results of Diab Care 2008. Med J Malaysia 2011; 66(3): 175-181.

Institute for Public Health (IPH) 2015. National Health and Morbidity Survey 2015 (NHMS 2015). Vol. II: Non-Communicable Diseases, Risk Factors & Other Health Problems; 2015. 315 p. Report No.:MOH/S/IKU/52.15.

Letchuman G, Wan Nazaimoon W, Wan Mohamad W, Chandran L, Tee G, Jamaiyah H, Ahmad Faudzi Y. Prevalence of diabetes in the malaysian national health morbidity survey III. Med J Malaysia 2010; 65(3): 180-186.

Hurt RT, Kulisek C, Buchanan LA, McClave SA. The Obesity Epidemic: Challenges, Health Initiatives, and Implications for Gastroenterologists. Gastroenterol Hepatol 2010; 6(12): 780-792.

Zaki M, Robaayah Z, Chan SP. Malaysia Shape of the Nation (MySoN): a primary care based study of abdominal obesity in Malaysia. Med J Malaysia 2010; 65: 143-149.

Abraham TM, Caroline SF. Implications of Rising Prediabetes Prevalence. Diabetes Care 2013; 36(8): 2139-2141. https://doi.org/10.2337/dc13-0792

Ali M, Schifano F, Robinson P, Phillips G, Doherty L, Melnick P, Dhillon S. Impact of community pharmacy diabetes monitoring and education programme on diabetes management: a randomized controlled study. Diabet Med 2012; 29(9): 326-333. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1464-5491.2012.03725.x

Dhippayom T, Fuangchan A, Tunpi S, Chaiyakunapruk N. Opportunistic screening and health promotion for type 2 diabetes: an expanding public health role for the community pharmacist. J Public Health 2013; 35(2): 262-9. https://doi.org/10.1093/pubmed/fds078

Hashim H, Mahmud A, Hing L, W, Yoong LP, Yusof NM, Bun TY. Public awareness of community pharmacy and pharmacist. Malays J Pharmacy 2001; 1(1): 23.

McGovern A, Tippu Z, Hinton, W, Munro N, Whyte M, de Lusignan S. Systematic review of adherence rates by medication class in type 2 diabetes: a study protocol. BMJ Open 2016; 6. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2015-010469

Currie CJ, Peyrot M, Morgan CL, Poole CD, Jenkins-Jones S, Rubin RR, Burton CM, Evans M. The Impact of Treatment Noncompliance on Mortality in People with Type-2 Diabetes. Diabetes Care 2012; 35(6): 1279-1284. https://doi.org/10.2337/dc11-1277

Muszbek N, Brixner D, Benedict A, Keskinaslan A, Khan ZM. The economic consequences of noncompliance in cardiovascular disease and related conditions: a literature review. Int J Clin Prac 2008; 62: 338-351. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1742-1241.2007.01683.x

National Diabetes Audit - 2012-2013: Report 1, Care Processes and Treatment Targets. The Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership UK, (HQIP). October 02, 2014. Available from: http://content.digital.nhs.uk/catalogue/ PUB14970/nati-diab-audi-12-13-care-proc-rep.pdf (accessed February 2016).

Chew BH, Hassan NH, Sherina MS. Determinants of medication adherence among adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus in three Malaysian public health clinics: a cross-sectional study. Patient Prefer Adherence 2015; 9: 639-648. https://doi.org/10.2147/PPA.S81612

Frankenfield D, Roth-Yousey L, Compher C. Comparison of predictive equations for resting metabolic rate in healthy nonobese and obese adults: a systematic review. J Am Diet Assoc 2005; 105(5): 775-89. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jada.2005.02.005

Hoo SK, Navaratnam V. Kajian Tentang Ilmu Pengetahauan Kesihatan Dan Sikap Terhadap Penggunaan Dadah Pelajar- Pelajar Sekolah Menengah. Siri Lamporan Penyelidikan, No. 19, 1988, Centre for Drug Research, U.N./WHO Research and Training Centre, Universiti Sains Malaysia.

WHO (2010) Global Info Base: Indicator [Internet

Hussein Z, Taher SW, Singh HKG, Swee WCS. Diabetes Care in Malaysia: Problems, New Models, and Solutions. Ann Glob Health 2015; 81(6): 851-862. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aogh.2015.12.016

Ahmad MH. Food Consumption Patterns: Findings from the Malaysian Adults Nutrition Survey (MANS) 2014. Institute for Public Health, Ministry of Health Malaysia. 2015; Vol 70 (1). Available from: http://www.iku.gov.my/images/IKU/Document/ REPORT/NHMS2014-MANS-VOLUME-2-SurveyFindings.pdf (accessed December 2015).

Basiotis PP. Consumption of food group serving: People's perception vs reality, Nutrition Insights 20, October 2000. Available from: https://www.cnpp.usda.gov/sites/default/files/ nutrition_insights_uploads/Insight20.pdf (accessed October 2015).

Naggar RA, Bobryshev YV, Noor NABM. Lifestyle Practice among Malaysian University Students. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev 2013; 14(3): 1895-1903. https://doi.org/10.7314/APJCP.2013.14.3.1895

Hu FB. Globalization of Diabetes The role of diet, lifestyle, and genes. Diabetes Care 2011; 34(6): 1249-1257. https://doi.org/10.2337/dc11-0442

Johnson RK, Appel LJ, Brands M, Howard BV, Lefevre M, Lustig RH. Dietary sugars intake and cardiovascular health: a scientific statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation 2009; 120: 1011-20. https://doi.org/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.109.192627

Amarra MSV, Khor GL, Chan P. Intake of added sugar in Malaysia: a review. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 2016; 25(2): 227-240.

Khor GL. Food availability and the rising obesity prevalence in Malaysia. IeJSME 2012; 6(1): 61-68.

Salvy SJ, Bowker, J C, Germeroth L, Barkley J. Influence of peers and friends on overweight/obese youths’ physical activity. Exerc Sport Sci Rev 2012; 40(3): 127-132. https://doi.org/10.1097/JES.0b013e31825af07b

Lim K, Sumarni M, Amal N, Hanjeet K, Wan Rozita W, Norhamimah A. Tobacco use, knowledge and attitude among Malaysians age 18 and above. Trop Biomed 2009; 26(1): 92-99.

Hu EA, Pan A, Malik V, Sun Q. White rice consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes: meta-analysis and systematic review. BMJ 2012; 344.

Baharudin, A, Zainuddin, AA, Manickam MA, Ambak R, Ahmad MH, Naidu BM, Ahmad NA. Factors associated with physical inactivity among school-going adolescents: data from the Malaysian School-Based Nutrition Survey. Asia Pac J Public Health 2014; 26(5): 27s-35s.

Sung KC, Jeong, WS, Wild SH, Byrne CD. Combined influence of insulin resistance, overweight/obesity, and fatty liver as risk factors for type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care 2012; 35(4): 717-722. https://doi.org/10.2337/dc11-1853

Yeh HC, Duncan BB, Schmidt MI, Wang NY, Brancati FL. Smoking, Smoking Cessation, and Risk for Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus A Cohort Study. Ann Internal M 2010; 152(1): 10-17. https://doi.org/10.7326/0003-4819-152-1-201001050-00005

Tam C, Bonn G, Yeoh S, Wong C. Investigating diet and physical activity in Malaysia: Education and family history of diabetes relate to lower levels of physical activity. Front Psychol 2014; 5: 1328. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01328

Tim Gill. Young people with diabetes and obesity in Asia: a growing epidemic. Diabetes Voice 2007; 52 Special Issue.

Praveen PA, Kumar SR, Tandon N. Type 2 diabetes in youth in South Asia. Curr Diab Rep 2015; 15(2): 571. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11892-014-0571-4

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Copyright (c) 2017 Shariza Sahudin, Mumtaz Hussain, Nor Farhah Abdul Ghaffar , Azyyati Mohd Suhaimi