PETALING JAYA - Yesterday, Muslims marked the first day of Ramadan; a month-long abstinence from food and liquids that begins at the crack of dawn and ends at sunset.
With the hustle and bustle and busy erratic lifestyles, it is not often that a family gets together to share a meal beyond the weekend.
The rest of the week the breaking of the fast will most likely be bought at the numerous Ramadan bazaars.
Health advocates are worried and have advised those observing the fast to keep meals simple and nutritious while keeping themselves hydrated when not fasting and to watch their diet.
Kuala Lumpur Hospital medical officer Dr Ashraf Zulkarnain, 31, said it was better for fasting Muslims to prepare their own meals instead of buying food from the bazaars.
"Most of the bazaar meals are unhealthy as they are oily and oily food slows down your digestion. People should be eating more fruits and vegetables," Dr Ashraf told The Star.
He said an unhealthy trend among fasting Malaysians is taking midnight meals, rather than waking up for sahur, the pre-dawn meals before subuh prayers.
Saying this was bad for the body, he added: "You are supposed to rest at night and, if you ask your digestive system to work at that time, it is less effective. That's why Malaysia has one of the highest obesity rates in the region."