Background: Overweight and obesity prevalence are increasing in Malaysia. This epidemic has affected a very high number of children and young adults. This poses a serious health hazard, not only presently, but also for the future Malaysian adult population. Interventions aimed at educating and informing the public about the hazards of being overweight and/or obese is one of the best shots at combating this issue. Methods: This exploratory, prospective study employed a customized questionnaire (study instrument) and pre-validated handout (interventional tool). The main objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the interventional tool in improving the knowledge, dietary habits and physical activities of the study sample. A change in the scores pertaining to knowledge, dietary habits and physical activities, would be indicative of the interventional tool’s effectiveness. Results: 112 males and 439 females participated in this study. The point prevalence of overweight and obesity combined was 70.07%.The respondents’ weight, BMI, knowledge, dietary habits and physical activities did improve significantly during the course of the study. The percentage values revealed an increase in weight, BMI and all the three domains assessed. On comparing P3 v P1, the percentage value increase (improvement) in weight, BMI, knowledge, dietary habits, physical activities, and total score was 10, 9, 35, 43.3, 17.85 and 35.7 respectively. Conclusion: The score grades of the respondents for the same parameters also showed an increase in ‘moderate’ and ‘good’ grades in P2, an increase in ‘good’ grades in P3, while the number of ‘poor’ grades which were high during the baseline study dropped markedly at the conclusion of P3.
Key words: Overweight, Obesity, Body Mass Index, Interventional tool, Spacedrepetition.