A blue rectangle with a gold star and crescent in the canton, with 14 horizontal red and white lines on the rest of the flag

Study Site: Penang, Malaysia
Institution: Department of Community Medicine, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Health Campus, Kubang Kerian, Kelantan, Malaysia
Principal Investigator: Dr. Rohana Jalil

Malaysia at a Glance

Area: 329,758 sq km
Population: 30,073,353
Median age: total 27.7 yr
Urban population: 72.8% of total population
Life expectancy: male 66.68 yr ; female 69.06 yr
Diabetes prevalence: 3.2 million cases, 16.6% (national prevalence)
Per capita GDP: $4,000
Languages: Malay (official), English, Chinese dialects, Mandarin, Hakka dialects, Cantonese, Tamil and numerous tribal languages

Comprised by three major ethic groups (Malay, Indian, and Chinese), the dietary patterns in Malaysia reflect those of India and China, with a traditional intake of rice, vegetables, and starchy foods. Rice is the main food staple; pulses and starchy roots (especially cassava) are still consumed, but they represent a minimal contribution to energy.


The World Factbook, 2013-2014. Washington, DC: Central Intelligence Agency, 2013.

IDF Diabetes Atlas, 6th Edition. Brussels, Belgium: International Diabetes Federation, 2014.