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
4.4 million Malaysian adults are obese
35.7 % Indians
32 % Malays
19.7 % Chinese
How Did We End Up With These Statistics?
- Unhealthy food choices
- Unbalanced daily diet
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Security issues that cause people to stay indoors
- Advancements in technology
- Easy access to transportation
Average Calories Needed For A Sedentary Lifestyle
Men 2000 – 2600 kcal
Women 1600 – 2000 kcal
Malaysia’s Favourite Foods And Their Calorie Content
|Type of Food||Calorie (kcal) per serving|
|Nasi Lemak Rendang||600|
|Char Kuey Teow||332.4|
|Roti Canai Telur||357|
An Average Malaysian Adult’s Daily Diet
Breakfast – 8.00 am
Nasi Lemak with rendang (600 kcal)
Neslo (113.4 kcal)
Morning tea – 10.00 am
2 pieces Curry puff (470 kcal)
Lunch – 12.30 pm
Chicken rice (329.2 kcal)
Iced Grass Jelly drink (117 kcal)
Afternoon tea – 3.30 pm
2 pieces cekodok pisang (361 kcal)
Dinner – 6.30 pm
Banana leaf rice (average 700 kcal)
*calorie count depends on choices of various dishes
Teh Tarik (233 kcal)
Supper – 9.00 pm
Hot cocoa drink (140.75)
Total calories: 3064.35
Ideal Serving On A Plate
Many Local Delicacies Contain:
High salt and sugar content
In 2010, 2004 food samples were analysed by the Ministry of Health and 5.4 % were found to have too much sugar
Eating Habits Of Malaysian Women
In a study on Malaysian women and their eating habits, this was the relationship between food and stress for half the participants…
levels of stress is up; consumption of unhealthy food is up too
#1 Eat according to the Malaysian Food Pyramid
*Source: Nutrition Society of Malaysia
#2 Get moving!
#3 Reduce time spent on tech gadgets
#4 Stock fridge with fresh fruits and vegetables
#5 Drink lots of water
No More Waiting!
I’ll change my lifestyle ‘TODAY’
“Malaysia has highest obesity rate in S.Asia.” New Straits Times 14 Nov. 2011. Web. 21 Oct. 2013.
Ortega, Adriana, Haslinda Abdullah, Nobaya Ahmad, and Rahimah Ibrahim. “Stress Indicators and Eating Habits among Working Malaysian Women.” Asian Social Science 9.7 (2013): 12-21. Web. 21 Oct. 2013.
nutriWEB. Nutrion Society of Malaysia, n.d. Web. 21 Oct. 2013.
Azizan, Hariati. “Record-breaking Malaysia!” The Star 1 Jan. 2012. Web. 21 Oct. 2013.