The consumption of beverages contributes to diet quality and overall nutrition. Studies on malted drinks, one of the widely consumed beverage choices among children in Asia, however, have received limited attention. This study aimed to examine the prevalence of malted drink consumption and explored associations of sociodemographic characteristics, nutrient intakes, weight status and physical activity levels with malted drink consumption among primary school children in Malaysia.
Data for this analysis were from the MyBreakfast Study, a national cross-sectional study conducted from April to October 2013 throughout all regions in Malaysia. A total of 2065 primary school children aged 6 to 12 years were included in the present analysis. Data on two days 24-h dietary recall or record, anthropometry, physical activity and screen time were recorded. Associations between malted drink consumption and related factors were examined using binary logistic regression, adjusting for region, area, gender, ethnicity and household income.
Among children aged 6 to12 years, 73.5 % reported consuming malted drinks for at least once per week. Consumption of malted drinks was significantly associated with region ( χ 2 = 45.64, p < 0.001), gender ( χ 2 = 4.41, p = 0.036) and ethnicity ( χ 2 = 13.74, p = 0.008). Malted drink consumers had similar total energy intake but higher micronutrient intakes compared to non-consumers. High physical activity level (OR = 1.77, 95 % CI = 1.06, 2.99) and lower screen time during weekends (OR = 0.93, 95 % CI = 0.86, 0.99) were independently associated with malted drink consumption among 6 to 9 year-old children, but not among 10 to 12 year-old children. No association was observed between malted drink consumption and weight status.
Malted drink consumption is prevalent among Malaysian primary school children, particularly higher among boys, indigenous children and those who lived in the East Coast region of Malaysia. Consuming malted drinks is associated with higher micronutrient intakes and higher levels of physical activity, but not with body weight status.