PUTRAJAYA: Non-communicable diseases are on the rise among adult Malaysians, says Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S Subramaniam.
He said the results of the National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS) 2015, among others, showed that 17.5 per cent of those aged 18 and above, or 17.5 per cent of the 3.5 million total, have diabetes.
In addition, one in three (30 per cent) or about 6.1 million people have hypertension. Almost half of the population (47.7 per cent) or about 9.6 million people have high blood cholesterol level.
"It is very worrying that more than half of population have diabetes and hypertension and four out of five (80 per cent) people with high blood cholesterol level were unaware of their health conditions," he said during a session with the press on the NHMS 2015.
The prevalence of obesity, he said, is also on the increase with about 17.7 per cent (3.3 million) adults being obese, and about one out of three being overweight.
The survey also showed that 94 per cent of Malaysian adults do not eat enough fruits and vegetables. Kedah has the highest and Malacca the lowest number of those who consume inadequate amounts of such food items.
Dr Subramaniam said raising the level of health among Malaysians would need the involvement of all quarters, especially the people who must be committed towards adopting a healthy lifestyle.
"A committee on 'enabling a healthy environment' chaired by the deputy prime minister (Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi) will meet on June 21 to discuss on what can be done to create conducive surroundings to generate healthier Malaysians."
He said there was only so much the government could do to boost the people's health level as it essentially boils down to the individuals themselves.