Materia Medica Malaysiana

April 13, 2008

Number of obese growing bigger, says Liow

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 10:26 am

Star: PETALING JAYA: About 50% of 13 million Malaysian adults could be overweight or obese, a worrying trend that seems to be on the rise.
Health Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai said while the National Health and Morbidity Survey in 2006 revealed that 43.1% of Malaysian adults were overweight or obese, which was double the figure from a decade ago, the numbers could have already increased since then.
Liow blamed the disturbing situation on the lack of proper health knowledge, adding that Malaysians needed to be better informed and motivated to stay healthy, in terms of diet, physical activity, stress management and disease prevention.
He said Malaysians had also grown accustomed to an affluent lifestyle, and were more comfortable sitting at home and watching television or being in front of the computer, instead of enjoying the outdoors.
“For example, how many people know that losing even a modest five to 10% of their weight can result in better health?” he said in his speech yesterday when launching Nutrition Month Malaysia 2008.
Saying he himself was overweight, Liow said Malaysians took “eating right” lightly as they did not know what to eat, when to do so and how much they should consume.
“There is plenty to eat but unfortunately, many of us are not making wise decisions on what and how much to eat. Instead, we act on impulse,” he added.
“With our busy lifestyles, we would rather eat out than at home, opt for fast food rather than cook at home.
“And too often, we spare little thought about health and the nutritional value of what we put into our tummies.”
Malaysian Association for the Study of Obesity president Prof Dr Mohd Ismail Noor later said that about 90% of overweight and obese adults in the country were “very likely” to develop diabetes.
“What is worrying are younger people who have diabetes and are also overweight.
“You do not have to wait until you are 40 to have this disease. They are now as young as 25,” he said.
He also said if one of a person’s parents was overweight or obese, the chances of his being in a similar situation was 40%.
The chances increased to 80% if both parents were either overweight or obese, he added.
Genetic predisposition, he said, contributed to between 10% and 15% of those who faced the weight problems.

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