Adam Drewnowski, Elise Mognard, Shilpi Gupta, Mohd Noor Ismail, Norimah A. Karim, Laurence Tibère, Cyrille Laporte, Yasmine Alem, Helda Khusun, Judhiastuty Februhartanty, Roselynne Anggraini and Jean-Pierre Poulain, « Socio-Cultural and Economic Drivers of Plant and Animal Protein Consumption in Malaysia: The SCRiPT Study », Nutrients 2020, 12(5), 1530;

Countries in South East Asia are undergoing a nutrition transition, which typically involves a dietary shift from plant to animal proteins. To explore the main drivers of protein consumption, the SCRiPT (Socio Cultural Research in Protein Transition) study recruited a population sample in Malaysia (N = 1604). Participants completed in-person 24 h dietary recalls and socio-demographic surveys. Energy and nutrient intakes were estimated using Nutritionist Pro. A novel recipe-based frequency count coded protein sources as meat (chicken, beef, pork, and mutton), fish, eggs, dairy, and plants (cereals, pulses, tubers). Dietary intakes and frequencies were examined by gender, age, income, education, ethnicity, religion, and family status, using ANOVAs and general linear models. Energy intakes were 1869 kcal/d for men and 1699 kcal/d for women. Protein intakes were 78.5 g/d for men and 72.5 g/d for women. Higher energy and protein intakes were associated with Chinese ethnicity, higher education and incomes. Frequency counts identified plant proteins in 50% of foods, followed by meat (19%), fish (12%), eggs (12%), and dairy (7%). Most frequent source of meat was chicken (16%) rather than pork or beef (1.5% each). In bivariate analyses, animal protein counts were associated with younger age, higher education and incomes. In mutually adjusted multivariate regression models, animal proteins were associated with education and ethnicity; plant proteins were associated with ethnicity and religion. Protein choices in Malaysia involve socio-cultural as well as economic variables.

Keywords: protein transition; animal protein; plant protein; ethnicity; religion; education; incomes; Malaysia; food choices; eating patterns

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