Determinants of Body Weight Status in Malaysia: An Ethnic Comparison
Tan, A. K. G., S. T. Yen, and M. I. Feisul.  2012.  International Journal of Public Health, 57 (2): 279288.

Abstract:
Objective To investigate the roles of sociodemographic and health lifestyle factors in affecting body mass index (BMI) across ethnic groups in Malaysia. Methods Data are obtained from 2,436 observations from the Malaysia Non-Communicable Disease Surveillance-1. The multi-ethnic sample is segmented into Malay, Chinese, and Indian/other ethnicities. Ordered probit analysis is conducted and marginal effects of sociodemographic and health lifestyle variables on BMI calculated. Results Malays between 41 and 58 years are more likely to be overweight or obese than their 3140 years counterparts, while the opposite is true among Chinese. Retirees of Chinese and Indian/other ethnicities are less likely to be obese and more likely to have normal BMI than those between 31 and 40 years. Primary educated Chinese are more likely to be overweight or obese, while tertiaryeducated Malays are less likely to suffer from similar weight issues as compared to those with only junior high school education. Affluent Malays and Chinese are more likely to be overweight than their low-middle income cohorts. Family illness history is likely to cause overweightness or obesity, irrespective of ethnicity. Malay cigarette smokers have lower overweight and obesity probabilities than non-cigarette smokers. Conclusions There exists a need for flexible policies to address cross-ethnic differences in the sociodemographic and health-lifestyle covariates of BMI.