BUKIT LANJAN: 21st Century digital world’s growing number of ‘couch potatoes’ in Malaysia

Definition of obesity
Obesity means having too much body fat. It is different from being overweight, which means weighing too much. The weight may come from muscle, bone, fat, and/or body water. Both terms mean that a person's weight is greater than what's considered healthy for his or her height.
How to know whether you are obese?
Examination 1: Physical & weight
If you've always been a normal weight without having to try too hard, you may consider yourself lucky. But the mirror and the scale only tell part of the story: You can look great in a bikini or have a body-mass index (BMI) in the normal range, but if you don't take care of yourself, you could be just as unhealthy as an obese person. This phenomenon sometimes is known as skinny-fat, or "normal-weight obesity". Despite weight alone can not certainly tell whether you are obese or not, it is the very first vivid sign of obesity symptoms … for more, go to http://ladyshopnow.com/insight-on-obesity.html

BUKIT LANJAN: 21st Century digital world’s growing number of ‘couch potatoes’ in Malaysia

Do Malaysians really love their children very much?

If they do, why are they not doing anything about their children’s growing health crisis caused by overweight or obesity.

“According to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in Bangkok, the number of overweight children under five rose 38% between 2000 and 2016 in AsiaPacific,” Gerakan Deputy Speaker Syed Abdul Razak Alsagoff said.

“That means almost 40% of our children are overweight and unhealthy. Isn’t that a cause for concern?” he asked.

He said food may be difficult to control with children but “at least they (parents) should try and help them grow up healthily”.

“Control their intake of carbohydrate food, quality of food and encourage them to exercise more by participating in physical sports like football, basketball, badminton and others.

“What is happening now almost everywhere is that parents are concentrating on their careers and leaving their children to become couch potatoes of the 21st Century, getting addicted to computers and other electronic gadgets.

“They just don’t get enough outdoor physical games,” he added.

Why Are Malaysians Getting Fat?

December 7, 2013 DietFeaturedFood
By Edeline Anne Goh
The rate of obesity is sky high in many developed and developing countries and Malaysia is no exception. While we’re aware that many of us are subject to sedentary lifestyles and find it hard to resist delicious but often unhealthy local food, it was still quite a shock when former health minister Dato’ Seri Liow Tiong Lai announced last year that Malaysia has the highest percentage of obese citizens in South East Asia! If you’re wondering why Malaysians are getting fat, these facts and figures tell the story:
8.5 million Malaysian adults are overweight … for more, go to http://www.urbanhealth.com.my/featured/why-are-malaysians-getting-fat/

Syed Razak, who is Gerakan’s nominee to contest N.37 Bukit Lanjan in the 14th General Election (GE14), said: “It is perhaps time for governments, both state and federal, to look seriously into the obesity woes of Malaysians.

“Perhaps, what the UN suggests make sense. Governments should start working with retailers, like in Singapore, to create a coordinated approach on packaging and promote a balanced diet, working with retailers to ban unhealthy and sweet foods and diversify farming to produce more healthy produce.

“Also, perhaps, Malaysia should study and learn from Japan and South Korea have the lowest adult obesity rates in the world,” he added.

Here’s what Reuters reported as posted by online news portal Free Malaysia Today (FMT):

"April 9, 2018

Researchers: Obesity among Asia-Pacific kids a growing health crisis


Overweight children are at higher risk of becoming obese as adults and developing health problems like type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.
KUALA LUMPUR: Obesity rates among children in Asia-Pacific are rising at a rapid rate, and more action is needed to encourage healthier lifestyles and ease pressure on fledgling healthcare systems, researchers say.

The number of overweight children under five rose 38% between 2000 and 2016 in the region, and the problem is growing, said Sridhar Dharmapuri, a food safety and nutrition officer at the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in Bangkok.

“The rate of growth in obesity in Asia-Pacific is higher than in many other countries,” Dharmapuri told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“While the US leads the way on obesity rates, the number of overweight children in Asia-Pacific is rising rapidly, and many countries in this region are now among the most health-threatened in the world.”

Adult obesity rates are highest in the US, Mexico, New Zealand and Hungary, and lowest in Japan and South Korea, according to a report on member states by the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

But the rapid rise in obesity among young people in Asia-Pacific is worrying because overweight children are at higher risk of becoming obese as adults and then developing serious health problems like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and liver disease.

Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand are among the most overweight countries in Southeast Asia, while Samoa, Tonga and Nauru are the most overweight in the Pacific. Australia also has high rates of obesity.

Many of these nations are also struggling to tackle malnutrition among their citizens.

The cost to the Asia-Pacific region of citizens being overweight or obese is US$166 billion (RM642 billion) a year, a recent report by the Asian Development Bank Institute (Adbi) said.

Rising wealth levels over the last 20 years have played a major role in the rise in obesity levels, researchers say.

“The region has undergone economic growth, so food has become available at a relatively cheaper price,” said Matthias Helble, an economist at Adbi in Tokyo.

“For the last 20 years the economic growth has been almost uninterrupted,” said Helble, who has researched obesity levels in the region for three years.

The “obesity time bomb” will be discussed by the 46 member governments attending the FAO conference for Asia and the Pacific, which starts in Fiji from today.

Lifestyle choices

In addition to consuming more, as economies have grown, people in Asia-Pacific have moved away from farming into manufacturing, and then to service sector jobs – which are more sedentary, researchers said.

Cities in Asia-Pacific have also seen unprecedented growth over the last two decades; this year more than half the region’s population will for the first time be urban, the UN has estimated.

City-dwellers in Asia-Pacific can spend hours commuting – due to poor transport systems and infrastructure – and when they finally reach home they have little time to cook. Many opt to eat out.

This new lifestyle has caused a rise in the consumption of convenience and processed foods, which often contain excess fats and more salt and sugar, researchers said.

People in the region also struggle to maintain a balanced diet, said Dharmapuri, with meals often lacking vegetables.

“The diet is largely rice-based,” he said. “On anybody’s plate, rice takes up between 50-70% of the space.”

When people are overweight they often suffer from other health problems, economists said, and this is likely to put pressure on public healthcare systems that are only just being established in many Asia-Pacific nations.

Absenteeism from work is also higher among obese people, said Helble, adding that overweight people often die earlier than those who lead healthy lives, so have a shorter productive life.

“The term ‘obesogenic environment’ has been used to describe an environment that promotes obesity among individuals and populations,” Elizabeth Ingram of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare – a government statistics agency – said by email.

“It includes physical, economic, political, and sociocultural factors.”

Joint effort

Fixing the problem will likely take years, and researchers said a joint effort by business and governments was needed.

Better labelling on foods to promote healthier options, education about healthier diets and lifestyles, and even healthier school meals would improve the situation, analysts said.

“Being obese can also be seen as a sign of prosperity, because you have enough food to show your wealth through the fact that you have a lot to eat,” said Helble.

Sugar taxes, which have been introduced or are being discussed in the Philippines, Singapore and Indonesia, are also one way to change people’s mindset, he added.

Building more sports facilities at schools and ensuring urban planners include recreational areas for cities and make them more walkable and less polluted, is also crucial.

Governments must work with retailers, like in Singapore, to create a coordinated approach on packaging and promote a balanced diet, researchers said.

Working with retailers to ban unhealthy and sweet foods from checkout areas, and pushing street vendors to switch from fried foods to healthier, more traditional options, are also key.

And countries should adopt a “farm to fork” approach, which encourages farmers to diversify what they grow and be less reliant on growing just rice, said Dharmapuri.

“In some Pacific island countries, it’s actually easier to buy soft drinks and processed foods than buy fruits and vegetables,” said Dharmapuri. “It’s almost a delicacy to have a vegetable in a restaurant.



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