Materia Medica Malaysiana

November 19, 2007

Chua: Eat right, exercise regularly

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 9:07 am

NST: KUALA LUMPUR: Nearly 70 per cent of Malaysians aged over 18 do not exercise and have been sedentary in their lifestyles over the past decade, giving rise to health risks.
This alarming indicator comes from a recent Health Ministry survey that found that only 30.9 per cent of Malaysian adults exercised. Of this, only 11.6 per cent did so adequately.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek said overeating or poor eating habits contributed to an increase in the prevalence of many chronic diseases like diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular illnesses.
“The proportion of overweight Malaysian adults increased from 16.6 per cent in 1996 to 29.1 per cent last year, while obesity had increased from 4.4 per cent to 14 per cent during the same period.”
Dr Chua added that there was an increase from 8.3 per cent in 1996 to 14.9 per cent last year for diabetic adult Malaysians above 30.
“For the same age group, the proportion of those who were hypertensive increased from 29.9 per cent to 42.6 per cent for the same period,” he said at the “Sierramas Community Fun Run” at the Sierramas Resort Homes in Sungai Buloh yesterday.
Dr Chua put the blame for the obesity problem on the attitude and change in lifestyle of the people following the socio-economic development of the country after independence.
“There have been dramatic changes in our lifestyle, especially in the last two decades. Food used to be scarce and malnutrition a problem, but we are now consuming less complex carbohydrates like cereals, grains and tubers and consuming more sugar, red meat, eggs, animal products, fats and oils.
“There are also changes in food consumption patterns with increased eating frequency, eating out more often and meals at odd or the wee hours of the day.”
He added that despite the efforts and resources of the government to improve health, it was the people themselves who could determine whether to stay healthy. “This is a matter of choice and will-power.”
Dr Chua called on Malay-sians to engage in regular physical exercise which was not confined to games but also walking up stairs, dancing, jogging and cycling. This could be done at no cost at all.
“Let us walk the extra mile, take extra fibre and forgo the extra servings. The choice or decision is ours.”

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