Bid to tackle obesity among Malaysians

BENTONG - A large-scale four-phased campaign will be launched to combat obesity from infancy to adulthood, said Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.

"At hospitals, we will have nurses teach parents about a balanced diet for their babies in the first 1,000 days.

"We do not want parents to overfeed their babies. If a baby gets fat during this period, it is very difficult to shed the weight later," said Liow after attending a Chinese New Year celebration with the orang asli community at Kampung Ulu Pareh here yesterday.

He said the second approach was a joint special programme with the Education Ministry to target overweight children in schools.

Liow said parents of these children would be called up for counselling on how to treat the condition.

"The ministry has also sent out circulars to cafeterias in government work places to prepare healthy food. Workers cannot keep eating oily and fatty food during meetings," he said.

Liow said it was "too bad" that Malaysia was now the most overweight country in South-East Asia.

On another matter, Liow said that there were still underweight and undernourished children among the orang asli community who must be helped via the food basket programme.

"We will help orang asli children with stunted growth by sending them a basket of healthy food every month."