Exploring Familial Themes in Malaysian Students' Eating Behaviors

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Kok, Car Mun
article description
As international students, Malaysian students have the added stress of adapting to new food as well as to the responsibilities of preparing their own meals. Failure to do so would jeopardize the health and studies of Malaysian students. In order to address this problem, the purpose of this study was to explore and understand the role of family on the eating behaviors and food choices of Malaysian students who live apart from their families. Five Malaysian students at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln were interviewed. Six themes were identified in this study; “family plays an important role,” “family mealtimes,” parental preferences and decision-making, parental advice, “lasting habits,” and culture and family history. These findings would be useful to encourage Malaysian families to practice good eating habits with students since young and continue to keep checking in with students regarding their eating behaviors, especially when they are studying overseas.