Following is a news release by the Malaysian Health Ministry. I found it through Warkah.com.

The recent statement by the Health Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai that overweight and obesity among Malaysians needs urgent attention again illustrates public ignorance on the problem.

The Minister pointed out that the prevalence of adult obesity in Malaysia from 1996-2006 had more than tripled with four out of every 10 Malaysians above 18 years of age are now being either overweight or obese.

…adult obesity in Malaysia from 1996-2006 had more than tripled to 40%…

Anyone who has a Body Mass Index (BMI) (weight divided by height squared) between 25 and 29.9 is considered overweight and between 30.0-34.9 is considered obese.

Even more worrying is the fact that this group is at high risk of contracting serious disorders like diabetes, hypertension and high blood cholesterol.

Other than asking people to exercise more and cut down on food, there should also be a change in the mindset?

My Comment: I don’t think its a problem of mindset. People want to be healthy. They just dont know how. It’s a problem of knowledge and education from a young age.

The Media’s Role

According to M.Manivannan, a sportsman and the national kabbadi coach, the people should constantly be reminded that overweight and obesity has serious repercussions to one’s health in the long term.

My Comment: Who? hahahah…..people know the repercussions lah. Just like people know that drugs and smoking is bad. Awareness is NOT the problem!

This is where the media especially the television should be more proactive in educating the public on healthy eating and living, and not just remind the public repeatedly that taking good care of your health is important.

“The media should better educate the public on the consumption of healthy food and a healthy lifestyle rather than just airing advertisements,” said Manivannan who is the Sukma 2008 national technical delegate for kabbadi.

This slowly can help change the people’s lifestyle for the better.

Educationist Selamat Ahmad Kamal told Bernama that media could inform the public on the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for the body. Through this, Selamat said the public could gauge for themselves their daily requirement of sugar, fat and carbohydrates.

My Comment: Yes I agree. Individuals should know AND understand their own needs and requirements for food.

“But I am afraid the media will make it too technical and the public will not understand. I hope the media can work with the Health Ministry to come up with short statements on how many spoons of sugar a normal body needs daily.

My Comment: I personally have tried to work with our beloved Kementerian Kesihatan numerous times but they are always “too busy”. Faham-faham sendiri lah kot.

“As we are aware, the Malaysian Adult Nutrition Survey in 2003 revealed that only about 40 percent of adults consumed green vegetables on a daily basis and the television can play a good role here by encouraging the public to eat more of these stuff and tell us the benefits of doing so during the prime time news break when most of us will be having dinner,” he added.

“Of course they must tell us how much sugar is in the `teh tarik’ and how many glasses of `teh tarik’ we can consume in a day without fearing the reaction from the teh tarik sellers,” said the former Headmaster of a school in Mentakab, Pahang.

My Comment: Just wait til I launch my cekodok.com. It’ll just blow you away! hahaha.

Selamat also told Bernama that the public had to be told that over indulgence in fast food and carbonated drinks too can be disastrous to health.

“I congratulate the former health minister Datuk Seri Chua Soi Lek for being bold enough to advice the government to stop certain advertisements deemed detrimental to the public’s health if consumed too much.”

Exercise A Way of Life

Overweight and obesity have increased but how about the physical activities to burn the extra calories?

Heavy machinery foreman Oh Ce Mai believes that exercise should be a way of life.

As many of us will give all sorts of excuse to avoid exerting our body, our daily routines can serve as good exercise regimes especially the walking that we do every day.

…many of us will give all sorts of excuse to avoid exerting our body (exercise)…

To encourage people to walk more, he suggested that the local councils should provide safe and comfortable pedestrian lanes.

“I would like to see more lanes created for walking in towns especially near commercial centres, bus stops and schools. At present there is little or no provision for such lanes covered with tree canopy to encourage people to walk to or from the bus stop, offices and the schools.

My Comment: True but problem is we Malaysians like to stay indoors. Even with better walking lanes etc, most Malaysian would prefer to stay indoors or go shopping!

“Today we see many school children being obese or overweight as they do not walk much because their parents feel it is too dangerous for their children to walk on the roads,” said Oh, who maintains a healthy body.

Meanwhile, retired army personnel Taharin Abdul Shukor said how are we to encourage people to exercise when fields for recreational activities are out of bounds for the public or taken over for development.

“There are cases where the fields have been fenced up or reserved for elite groups and this saddens me.

“A good example will be a field in my hometown in Temerloh, Pahang. Today a mini stadium is on the field and the public has no free access,” lamented Taharin.

My Comment: Agreed! Sports facilities in this country are very very sad! I would love to play football somewhere in my neighborhood but no pitches around. Thank god for futsal! Check out my sports development proposal for our KBS.

Taharin urged the Youth and Sports Ministry and the local council to look into the matter and to open up all fields like the Temerloh Mini Stadium to the public.

At the end of the day, it is all in the mindset. All we need to do is treat our daily physical activities as exercise regime and keep up with healthy eating habits.

Source : BERNAMA

Kevin Zahri

I am a US certified personal trainer and nutritionist with over 12 years experience. Over the years, I have published over 10 books, written for Men's Health, other fitness and lifestyle magazines, hosted TV shows and appeared on various TV shows, programs and magazines. I am also an avid corporate wellness speaker and web entrepreneur.

More about me here or follow me on Facebook or Twitter.

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  • i.think.i.am.fat

    yes, i admit, im one of those malaysian who is very malas to exercise or even to walk to the nearby shop. Since Ramadhan is coming, i think my apetite is going to be worse. any suggestions on ideal meal for berbuka and sahur? my fav is Laksa penang… is it good for me to berbuka with it everyday?

    by the way, i’m 162cm and 55-57kg… am i fat??? help!

  • – will post on ramadhan soon.
    – 162, 55-57kg…doesnt sound that bad la…again all depends on how the weight is distributed and whether you are happy with the way you look or not.

  • Kayne

    I find it okay to eat but please do some exercise.
    We have to force ourselves to do it – exercise i mean – there is no short cut at the rate Malaysians are eating. Food from all over the world – almost –
    are easily accessed here. Macam2 ada..how lah ?
    It is okay to indulge kan…
    As I said we must exercise, it is for our own good, well don’t you all love to look good? Perut boroi mana ada cantik? We need to discipline ourselves just as you would makan and minum. Couldn’t agree more -make exercise a way of life.

    Oh yes..for ramadan(and raya)..please come out with some tips on what to consume to make sure we will last till sunset, wooosh..memang mencabar! God help me!

    Please come out with some recipes if possible to include my favourite – bananas, honey, oats..waffles..
    A fruit shake ? I like! And the coffee..does it make you more thirsty whatever..puasa month? Teh tarik?
    Is it alright to pop diet pills during fasting?
    What other supplements – B complex ?

    Please Kev..tolonnnngggg. Thanks so much.

  • aastar

    the cartoon’s funny man…hahahaha

  • Farah

    We Malaysian are so blessed to have you, Kevin! Seriously! 

  • Amin13

    Salam kevin, just read ur old article that u repostwd on twitter. Couple of points of my opinion to share :
    1. Msian has this typical ‘meleisian’ mindset
    -knews how bad to smole but still smoking, like know they are obese/overweight but still melantak nasi kandar with kuah banjirrrrr…
    -for me sorry to say that overweight/obese person s/times an ego person. They knew that their life in jeorpady that not looking after their health but still
    -not blaming their overzealous eating food that causing obesity, diabetes and high choletrol
    -some of them like this kinda person loves to find quick fix like MLM products to reduce their weight…but yet they have this yoyo effect.
    2. I think moh/kkm are has their different strategies mowadays compared to 10-15years back… Like last time moh had slogan/yearly theme to attrract people to aware of healthy lifestlye… I think right now kkm just stick to ‘kesihatan sepanjang hayat’ slogan. Or kkm much conentrated on cure rather than prevention….no more healthy advisory adds like we used to have…
    3. Agg

  • Amin13

    3. Agrees with some pioints that nowadays parents afraid not sending their kids tpby walikng not to let them to be healthy, but there are lots of kidnappers/rapist/stalker arround… Not due to healthy factor i think (i’m a parent of 3 kids)
    4. The moh has their pamphlet regarding amalan permakanan cara hidup sihat (via their websites)… But it’s to boring to read…
    5. Agress with u kevin as in msia is worse in keeping their public sport facility… But they also can claim, why we are not bother with this facility? Like swimming pool, gym rakyat, playground. Like in some of paid gym they requested a membership entrae, not on walk in basis… Susah la ini mcm…
    6. I’m a doctor who works in govt hosp… Yep, it is true, most if the disease are preventable disease… But self awareness is so poor amongst our people… Especially malay… Like advance breast cancer or colon cancr… Know their having that illness but still yet seek other contemporry medicine such as bomeh to seek cure… Then bomoh can’t cure anf the disease reaching thei therminal, then they come to seek medical/surgical team begging for cure/surgery… But that time it’s already too late, same imples to obesity/diabetes/heart disease… As again i said, meleisian loves quick fix/testimony without proper paper proof/haves medication but lovessss Expensive MLM healthy products… So difficult to change thier mind set…
    I think gov’t need to ponder back their health programme…. If this thing happens, i think most of us wont reach until their own pension age…

    Regards
    Dr amin
    Twiiter @amarsa13