Malnutrition and its risk factors among children and adolescents with intellectual disability (ID) in Asian countries: A scoping review

Peer-reviewed article
(2021 Feb) Malaysian Journal of Nutrition, 27 27-40


Mohamed SF, Kah Leng S & Vanoh, D


Introduction: Children with intellectual disability (ID) have higher probability of experiencing poor health status due to their limited ability to understand and assess information about nutrition and health. Malnutrition remains a significant health problem as it is prevalent among both typically developing and disabled children. This scoping review aims to discuss the prevalence of malnutrition among children and adolescents with ID in Asian countries. Methods: The review was based on the PRISMA-ScR method. A systematic electronic search was conducted using databases namely PUBMED, Science Direct, Scopus, and Google Scholar for articles published from 2006-2019, written in English and involved studies in Asian countries. Results: A total of 255, 100 article’s titles were identified and only 17 articles that met the inclusion criteria were included for further analysis. The findings revealed that the range of prevalence for underweight was 5.7%-76.3% and 28.9%-45.0% for stunting. The prevalence estimated for overweight was 3.9%-46.6%, while obesity was 1.6%- 26.6%. The body mass index values ranged from 17.4±4.3kg/m2-23.0±6.3kg/m2. There were several risk factors related to malnutrition such as co-morbidity factors, behavioural factors, and parental factors. Conclusion: This review demonstrated concern regarding the prevalence of malnutrition among children and adolescents with ID, which is high in certain Asian countries. It was varied and thus difficult to compare due to different reference standards and definitions used for malnutrition. Establishing nutrition and health-related intervention programmes can help to prevent further rise in the prevalence of malnutrition in this group.