Obesity Issue Is Nothing New In Malaysia, And That Has To Change!

Who else thought they could get their body in shape and start eating healthily during the Movement Control Order (MCO) period, but in the end, it didn’t work out, because same…

Well, we’re not that surprised though since the only workout we did at home was walking from our bedroom to the kitchen and then back again.  

obesity issue is nothing new in malaysia, and that has to change!Photo via TODAY Online

According to BERNAMA, a 34-year-old, public sector employee, Nur Athirah Rosli shared her experience on how she had put on an extra 2kg over the MCO period, “Whenever I felt like eating, I would order food online. It was so easy.” 

Nur Athirah is in the obese category as she weighs 92kg and is currently following a diet and exercise regime to shed the extra weight. 

But apparently, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), a report issued in February 2020 revealed that obesity has reached epidemic proportions globally with at least 2.8 million people dying each year as a result of being overweight. 

In Malaysia, however, the World Population Review 2019 disclosed that Malaysia has the highest prevalence of obesity among adults in South-East Asia at 15.6%, followed by Brunei at 14.1%, Thailand at 10% percent, and Indonesia, 6.9%.

The National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS) 2019 findings showed that 50.1% of adults in Malaysia were either overweight or obese, while 30.4% were overweight and 19.7% obese. 

According to Universiti Putra Malaysia public health medicine expert Dr. Norliza Ahmad, factors contributing to obesity can be classified into four categories - namely food, physical activity, environment, and genetics. 

It is also worrying that obesity is also increasingly affecting children. “Many children these days are glued to their computer games, tablet, and television for over two hours a day and obesity among children is linked to long periods of inactivity.”

These children face a higher risk of developing non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes mellitus and hypertension at a younger age.

BERNAMA also reported that Malaysia’s life expectancy has been stuck at 75 years for the past decade due to premature deaths caused by NCDs such as diabetes, kidney failure and heart disease. 

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Adham Baba also said 3.9 million people or one in five Malaysian adults aged above 18, suffer from diabetes.

obesity issue is nothing new in malaysia, and that has to change!Photo via Reuters

Obese people suffering from NCDs who contract the COVID-19 infection face a higher risk of developing dangerous complications that could lead to death if they fail to seek early treatment. 

According to Health director-general, Datuk Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah, more than 80% of fatalities due to COVID-19 involved patients suffering from NCDs.

Obesity is no joke, and it’s not a healthy way to live. So, love yourself enough to change for the better! 

By: Aishah Akashah Ahadiat