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Exploring food acceptance of army recruits during basic recruit training (BT) with focus groups


Nurhazwani Abdullah and Nurul Aziah Ahmad and Aikal Liyani Mohd Rasdi (2014) Exploring food acceptance of army recruits during basic recruit training (BT) with focus groups. In: 2nd International Hospitality & Tourism Conference 2014, 02 - 04 Sept 2014, Faculty of Hotel & Tourism Management, Universiti Teknologi MARA , Pulau Pinang.


Impact of basic recruit training (BT) on food acceptance was extensively studied but there were limited possible strategies to improve the food acceptance in order to minimize the potential losses of nutritional status during BT especially in the Malaysian Armed Forces.Thus, this research was conducted to study the food acceptance of army recruits for the purpose of menu planning during BT training. 68 male army recruits were selected as study respondents with purposive sampling. They were given consent form and a thorough study description was explained to the respondents. Focus group discussion was used for data gathering. A set of questions used for focus groups are modified from (Skiller, Booth, Coad, & Forbes-ewan, 2005) for question validity. Questions were asked to stimulate comments and to explain why they consumed certain items of food and reject some other food. The army recruits participating in the study were asked to sit at a particular table in the dining hall to be audio taped on 7 sessions. Each session of focus groups comprised of 8 to 10 individuals and the session lasted about 1 hour. One moderator and one observer conducted the interviews, transcribed and analysed. For the purpose of reliability, reliability intercoder was calculated between the two coders. Result of the intercoder analysis was Kappa=0.652 (p<0.05) which showed a good agreement (in range of 0.60 to 0.80) of reliability intercoder according to Practical Statistics for Medical Research (Altman, 1991). Thematic analysis was used to understand why they like or reject the foods from the focus group discussion and analyse with Atlas Ti. Food acceptance evaluated showed that during BT, the recruits choose to eat the food because to save budget, good taste and extra portion. Whereas, they avoid certain food due to less authentic, too oily, and hard food texture. The recruits demand for supper and frequent snack time and emphasized on extra food during vigorous training Their perception on the military meals are acceptable with medium quality but needs improvement, especially the taste. They suggested to add more menu like hometown local cuisines to increase the food acceptance ratings. The military meals served during basic recruit training are minimally acceptable but still needs improvement in terms of taste. Hence, planning the menu with more acceptable meals is recommended. This is important to maximize the food intake so that the body weight and composition is maintained during basic recruit training.

3rd International Conference on Business and Communication

23 and 24 April 2014, Swiss Garden, Kuala Lumpur MALAYSIA

Customer satisfaction as benchmark for contract catering performance within the Army Basic Recruit Training Centre (PUSASDA)
Oral (paper presentation)
1.Nurhazwani Abdullah
Department of Tourism and Hospitality (Wellness unit)
Faculty of Entrepreneurship and Business
Universiti Malaysia Kelantan

2. Siti Syazwani Abdullah
Department of Food service and Management
Faculty of Food sciences and Technology
Universiti Putra Malaysia

3.Hazrina Ghazali
Department of Food service and Management
Faculty of Food sciences and Technology
Universiti Putra Malaysia

Customer satisfaction has been given much attention in the measurement of business performance of the institutional foodservices for the food and services. This study examines the army recruits’ satisfaction with Acute Care Hospital Foodservice Patient Satisfaction Questionnaire (ACHFPSQ). This survey was part of the menu intervention study and implemented in three dining halls in the Army Basic Recruit Training Centre with involvement of fifty male army recruits. Customer satisfaction was assessed after six months of staying within the training centre. Main outcome measured were the scores of foodservice dimensions and overall satisfaction. Relationship between foodservice dimensions with overall satisfaction was assessed with Multiple Linear Regression Analysis. Findings revealed that the army recruits rated the highest score for meal service quality (score 2.81) while the lowest score was for physical environment (score 2.58). Overall score of foodservice satisfaction was 2.48, indicated that the army recruits had poor satisfaction level of the catering. The regression analyses revealed that staff and service issues was the only significant predictor positively related to the army recruits’ overall foodservice satisfaction. Further approach to improve the army recruits’ satisfaction with the food and services are warranted.

2nd International Seminar on Entrepreneurship and Business (ISEB 2013)

15th December 2013, Crown Garden Hotel, Kota Bharu, MALAYSIA

Hedonic ratings and consumption of breakfast among recruits in basic recruit training (BT)
Poster presentation
1.Nurhazwani Abdullah
Wellness Units, Department of Tourism and Hospitality, Faculty of Entrepreneurship and Business, Universiti Malaysia Kelantan

2.Siti Syazwani Abdullah
Nutrition Units, Health Clinic of Triang, Pahang

3.Rosita Jamaludin
Department of Nutrition & Dietetics, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia;

4.Hazrina Ghazali
Department of Foodservice and Management, Faculty of Food Science and Technology, Universiti Putra Malaysia

This research is to examine the relationship between hedonic ratings and the consumption of breakfast food during basic recruit training. Hedonic ratings of breakfast items belonging to 30 food items provided by the catering were collected from 50 recruits, over 2 months. All foods and drinks provided by the catering were rated from 1 (extremely disliked) to 9 (extremely liked), with a score of 5 set as acceptable score. During the subsequent breakfast, the leftovers of each individual and menu item were recorded. Hedonic responses to breakfast food items differed significantly [F (29) = 103.62, p<0.05]. 53.3% of breakfast food items were scored from 5.12 to 8.52. Honeystar cereals (score 8.52) and nasi lemak (score 8.10) were liked very much with more than 90% of consumption. The least liked breakfast food was kway teow soup with score of 1.58. A significant and high correlation was found between hedonic scores and food consumption of breakfast food items (r= 0.725) (p<0.05). In conclusion, hedonic ratings of recruits predicted the amount of breakfast consumption. Low ratings of breakfast food items raise the question on how the breakfast food should be served to encourage their consumption in recruits during training.
29th Scientific Conference of Malaysia Nutrition Society 2014

3 - 4 June 2014, Renaissance Hotel Kuala Lumpur

Nutritional content of menu for basic recruit training in military foodservice
Oral (paper presentation)
1.Nurhazwani Abdullah, Wellness unit, Department of Tourism and Hospitality, Faculty of Entrepreneurship and Business,
Universiti Malaysia Kelantan, City Campus, Pengkalan Chepa, Kelantan

2.Nurul Aziah Ahmad, Department of Tourism and Hospitality, Faculty of Entrepreneurship and Business,
Universiti Malaysia Kelantan, City Campus, Pengkalan Chepa, Kelantan

3.Aikal Liyani Mohd Rasdi, Department of Tourism and Hospitality, Faculty of Entrepreneurship and Business,
Universiti Malaysia Kelantan, City Campus, Pengkalan Chepa, Kelantan

The study was to evaluate the nutrient content of menu provided to recruits in the Basic Recruit Training Centre, Port Dickson, Malaysia. From a 4-week cycle menu, the menu during week 3 of a 4-week cycle menu was randomly chosen to obtain average nutrient content. Nutrient content of menu was evaluated on 7 days from three main meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) and snacks (morning and tea breaks) and was compared with the Recommended Nutrient Intakes (RNIs) of Malaysia and the military dietary recommendation for Malaysian Armed Forces, Perintah Majlis Angkatan Tentera (PMAT) to determine the nutritional adequacy of the menu for male recruits. The energy from the menu was within the range of 2772 to 2843 kcal, and met the energy recommendation of RNIs for general male aged 19 to 29 years but it did not meet the energy recommendation for recruits in training based on military dietary recommendation, PMAT. Protein from the menu has exceeded the RNIs and PMAT recommendation (17.4% to 18.3%). Fat content of the menu exceeded the recommended range of 20% to 30%. Carbohydrate was not sufficiently provided by the catering within the recommended carbohydrate range of 55% to 70%. Nutrient values for vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, sodium and zinc met the recommendation of RNIs (100% of RNIs). However, the levels of calcium and dietary fiber in the menu were suboptimal. Therefore, corrective action should be taken to ensure the nutrient content of menu provided is sufficient for the physical activity level of recruits during training especially from carbohydrate food sources.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Collection Type: Institution
Date: 2014
Faculty/Centre/Office: Faculty of Entrepreneurship and Business
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