Taylor's FSLM Journals
Childhood obesity: Health communication perspectives of Malaysian parents during COVID-19

@ SEARCH Journal of Media and Communication Research

Online ISSN: 2672-7080

*Nurzihan Hassim, Prasana Rosaline Fernandez, Ng Kwan Hoong, Usha Devi Rajaratnam, Jenny Heng Gek Koon, Siow Yuen Ching, Wang Qian


Childhood obesity and its associated risks in Malaysia remains a major health concern where at least one in five of children are affected. Media engagement with the public on the outbreak of Covid-19 had since overshadowed these health issues. Measures for social distancing and containment through the Movement Control Order (MCO) presented challenges for parents in making healthy food choices and dealing with unforeseen sedentary lifestyles. The study examined perceptions of parents towards health communication, how parents ensure their children abide by healthy eating habits, and how they seek information on childhood obesity intervention during this period. The positive deviance (PD) approach argues that champions of innovative ideas on maintaining good health are found within the communities rather than a change agency’s prescription. The study obtained input from parents in the Klang Valley through semi-structured interviews.

Keywords: Childhood obesity, positive deviance, health communication, health literacy, non-communicable diseases