Malaysia Gains Sixth Rank in Asia in Obesity Rates

Malaysia Gains Sixth Rank in Asia in Obesity Rates

As per the World Health Organization (WHO), in terms of adult obesity rate, Malaysia is positioned sixth among all the Asian countries.

Around 60% of people aged 18 and above in Malaysia has a body mass index (BMI) of over 23, as stated by Malaysian Health Minister Liow Tiong Lai. He added that Malaysian students are also putting on weight.

The BMI is based on a person's weight and height, which if lies between 23 and 24.9 signals overweight and if above 25 then the person is obese.

In 2001, there were 20.7% of Malaysian students who were overweight, which was forecasted to be increased to 26.5% in 2007 by the National Health and Morbidity Survey 2006.

"It is critical for the Malaysian Government to tackle the problem as obese individuals encountered higher risks of developing chronical diseases, which would in turn affect the country's productivity", said Liow.

The increasing weight of Malaysians is being contributed by unhealthy eating habits such as high intake of fat and meat that also poses risk of diseases such as diabetes, heart attack, kidney disease, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Other reasons include lack of exercise and food stalls operating for 24 hours in the country.

There was need of review of the National Nutrition Action Plan for 2006 to 2015 so as to encourage healthy lifestyle among Malaysians, as expressed by Liow.



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