Helpline for obese and overweight Malaysians

Helpline for obese and overweight Malaysians

KUALA LUMPUR: Those with weight problems can now seek advice from experts, who are just a telephone call away, through the My Weight, My Health programme.

Malaysian Pharmaceutical Society president Datuk Nancy Ho said the programme was an effort to heed the Health Ministry's call to combat the rising obesity rate among Malaysians.

"We have decided to set up a call centre where a team comprising pharmacists, nutritionists and dieticians will provide counselling and assistance to overweight and obese people," she said here yesterday.

Ho added that the centre would disseminate, educate and assist anyone who wished to embark on modification to their lifestyle to achieve a happier and healthier life.

The programme would also help those who were embarrassed to be seen in gymnasiums due to their size, she added.

The call centre number is 1300-800-373. It is open from 8.30am to 5.30pm on weekdays.

The programme will cover three parts -- information on nutrition, proper dieting and fitness through physical activities or exercises.

She said the society was working with pharmacies to assist the public to seek assistance in calculating their body mass index before getting in touch with the call centre to register.

Once registered, a food diary would be mailed to the participant and the team would keep track on the participant's progress on a weekly basis through telephone calls for a period of four months.

According to the latest figures from the World Health Organisation, some 1.6 billion adults are overweight and 400 million were obese.

In Malaysia, about 43 per cent of adults, 20 per cent of teenagers and 26 per cent of primary schoolchildren are either overweight or obese.

Weight problems are 1.3 times more prevalent in women than in men, and affect a person emotionally, physically and medically.

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