Open Access Research Article

Relationship Between Food Plant Knowledge and Health of Rural Dwellers: A Case Study of Kampung Peninjau Lama, Bau District, Sarawak, Malaysia

Andrew Kiyu1, Alexander K Sayok2* and Ulrich Teucher3

1Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Malaysia Sarawak, Malaysia

2Institute of Biodiversity and Environmental Conservation, University of Malaysia Sarawak, Malaysia

1University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada

Corresponding Author

Received Date: September 10, 2018;  Published Date: October 31, 2018


In the early days, most rural communities had limited access to towns and thus treated nearby forests as supermarkets for collection and gathering their needed materials including food. As such, their diet was predominantly forest-based. Presently, with ready access to markets, most food are bought and hsd been processed. Many studies showed that such changes in diet source had caused some adverse impacts on health. This study was undertaken in Kampong Peninjau Lama, a rural village, in Bau District, Sarawak to see if there is any change in their health through their change of diet source and mode of nutrition. The households were interviewed on the composition of their diet and sources of food components while the health status of the population in this village were documented. The study shows that there was a gradual change in the diet among the older folks (≥50 years) from predominantly plant-based and forest-derived food to meat-based and market-derived processed food. The health status of the population in this village, however, cannot be considered as the result of the change in food plant knowledge and practice. It was probably due to the parallel result of globalisation and its effects on diets and lifestyle, and on health status. The reason could be because this study was carried in a village which had been accessible to towns almost 60 years ago.

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