Project – Food Environment: Eating Out Pattern in Asian Countries
Project Leader: Dr. Elise Mognard
Eating out has become a rapidly increasing trend amongst Malaysians. This is due to the rising affluence, changing of lifestyle and urbanization. As household income increases, more people are spending more time at work, and have less time to prepare food at home. The level of consumption of food and meals out of home is very high in Malaysia and probably all over Asia and arguably a factor in changing dietary patterns leading to increased obesity incidence . There must be a need for public policy to fight obesity as this is an impending health issue worldwide.
Project Leader, Dr. Elise Mognard
With Malaysia being in the center of the Asian Food Scene, there are plenty of food stalls and restaurants available to choose from. From all-day hawker centre, food courts, coffee shops and to a full-fledge dining restaurants, many of these indicate a growing food service industry. Besides that, fast-food restaurants are now offering full set meals at reasonable price.
However, this causes a growing concern about the quality and safety of outside food. Evidence points to food choices outside that are usually higher in energy content. High rate of eating out, with the increase in urbanization of the population may be associated with obesity.
Dr. Elise Mognard’s research goal is to pursue the exploration of the cultural and contextual aspects of the “eating behaviour and consumption” in Malaysian context. She want to explore how the environment will affect your food choice. It can either be the environment plays a role in whether or not a person choose a healthier option eating out, or is it healthier to cook at home. By classifying eating context – eating out and at home, Dr. Elise will be able to evaluate the impact of those eating context; whilst analyzing the dynamic and modernization of food practices and social representations in multi-ethnic societies. This is also in conjunction with the project “Experimental Restaurant”, which is to analyze the social interaction influence on individual food choice in different environments.
No matter how diverse eating out can be, all have a role to play in managing and operating a food safety-control system. This can be done using the Asian Food Barometer (AFB), which is to study the aspects of the nutrition transition in rapidly developing and urbanized countries of Asia and South-East Asia. This project, which is largely based on social sciences is all about studying food environment and contextual behavior that comes with enjoyment of food. Besides that, the project will provide valuable additional insight to classical nutritional or economic studies.
This collaborative effort will be more effective and sustainable, especially with awareness programmes in rural and urban communities. Besides that, researchers are working on ethnographic data as well as data gathered by industry collaboration such as LIA-CNRS “Food Cultures and Health. This phase aims to prepare for the data collection process using the Malaysian Food Barometer (MFB) as a guide. The benefit of this project is immense. The society especially will benefit from this project as it can provide assessment of environmental and preventive policy developed into the National Plan of Action for Nutrition of Malaysia (2016-2025). Besides that school canteen, cafeteria and catering have also been included in this initiative to strongly emphasize on health prevention and aiming towards the implication of obesity to our nation.
High rate of eating out is a characteristic of modern Malaysian family [MOU1] that has been increasing with the urbanization of the population. This can be associated with obesity. By classifying eating context – eating out and at home, we will be able to evaluate the impact of those eating context; whilst analyzing the dynamic and modernization of food practices and social representations in multi-ethnic societies. This is also in conjunction with the project “Experimental Restaurant”, which is to analyze the social interaction influence on individual food choice in different environments.
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When you think of Malaysia, you think of gloriously delicious, calorie-rich food varieties available in every street. Rendang, Nasi Lemak, Creamy Fish Head Curry, Loh Gah Mai, Satay you name it. Malaysia is a food haven for food lovers. However, lately we are gaining the reputation as the country with the fattest people! A recent World Health Organisation (WHO) report put Malaysia as number 6 in Asia and the prevalence is rising each year.Read More