HULU TERENGGANU - Malaysians are the fattest in Southeast Asia and the Health Ministry is determined to lose that "honour".
Deputy Health Minister Datuk Rosnah Abdul Rashid said Malaysia had the highest number of obese citizens in the region.
"This is very worrying as the country is also ranked sixth among Asian countries," she said after launching the Cakna Kesihatan programme at Kampung Pasir Nering here yesterday.
"One of the main contributors is our inactive lifestyle, whereby 43.7 per cent of those above 18 years of age are not exercising."
Rosnah said her ministry had set a target to reduce 30 per cent of the weight for those classified as obese nationwide.
"We'll do this through efforts such as introducing a calorie guideline in schools as well as instilling healthy lifestyle habits among university students.
"Studies conducted have revealed obesity is common among urban people, given the high number of fast food outlets located in towns and cities.
"We are also organising various health checkups through the respective health departments nationwide to ensure that the people can gauge their health levels," she said.
Rosnah said 60 per cent of deaths worldwide were due to non-communicable disease and obesity was a type of NCD.
"Such deaths can be prevented if only people would take charge of their lives," she said.
"It is not hard to exercise, thus the ministry has introduced the 10,000 steps a day programme."