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Dewan Rakyat: Malaysia has the highest obesity rate in SEA
MALAYSIA has the highest obesity rate in South East Asia and is ranked sixth in the Asia-Pacific region, the House heard yesterday.
Deputy Health Minister Datuk Rosnah Shirlin said this was cause for concern considering three million of the 28 million Malaysians were diagnosed with diabetes, a disease closely associated with obesity.
It was reported that an overweight or obese person was at a higher risk at getting diabetes, heart attack, high blood pressure and cancer.
In 2006, the National Health Morbidity Survey found that 43.1 per cent of the adult population were overweight, with 14 per cent of them obese.
Rosnah said the latest survey revealed that some three million of the 28 million Malaysians had diabetes.
“The number of Malaysians diagnosed with diabetes had increased by two-folds from 1.5 million in 2006 to about 3 million now.
“The report will be available at the end of this year," she said to a supplementary question by Salahuddin Ayub (PAS- Kubang Kerian) at question time.
Salahuddin had asked on the numbers of diabetic patients in Malaysia and the measures taken to curb the problem.
Rosnah said the daily sugar intake among Malaysians was too high, at 51 grams, which is above the recommendation by the World Health Organisation at 50 grams.
“In our own survey conducted in 2002 to 2003, we found that in average Malaysians consume seven tablespoons of artificial sweeteners, four table spoons of sugar and 3 spoons of condensed milk in their drinks," she said in reply to an earlier question from Dr Tan Seng Giaw (DAP-Kepong).
"This is something which we should think together and to promote awareness among the people to take action to reduce sugar intake.”
Rosnah also said of the 1,266 food samples analysed in 2009, 92 samples or 7.3 per cent were found to have too much sugar.
Last year, 2,004 samples were analysed of which 108 samples or 5.4 per cent found to have excessive amount of sugar, she said.
Rosnah said the government was also concerned that many people had yet to go for tests to diagnose and detect diabetic- related health problems.
"We estimate about 2 million people have not received any treatment on diabetes," she added.