Eat well, be well

Nu­tri­tion Month Malaysia 2017 re­in­forces the need to cur­tail the ris­ing in­ci­dence of ‘life­style’ dis­eases.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Health -

THE re­cently con­cluded Nu­tri­tion Month Malaysia 2017 (NMM) high­lighted the ris­ing in­ci­dence of non-com­mu­ni­ca­ble dis­eases (also called life­style dis­eases) and the im­por­tance of pre­vent­ing such dis­eases.

In its 16th year, the an­nual event this year, held on April 19-23 at IOI City Mall, Pu­tra­jaya, car­ried the theme, “Eat Smart + Move More = Recipe for Healthy Fam­i­lies”. This year’s com­mu­ni­ca­tion ma­te­ri­als fo­cused on “smart eat­ing and ac­tive liv­ing” as the main­stays of a healthy fam­ily to pre­vent non-com­mu­ni­ca­ble dis­eases (NCDs).

At the launch of the event, State Di­rec­tor of Health of the Fed­eral Ter­ri­tory KL and Pu­tra­jaya Dr Zain­udin bin Ab­dul Wa­hab stressed: “Let us not for­get that NCDs are silent dis­eases. The sad fact of the mat­ter is that deaths caused by NCDs are ac­tu­ally pre­ventable. The threat of NCDs re­mains one of the most crit­i­cal chal­lenges faced by Malaysia and it must be ad­dressed col­lec­tively by all Malaysians.

“How­ever, in or­der to suc­ceed, Malaysians must place a greater value on their per­sonal health. This must also be cou­pled with a fo­cused ef­fort to lead a health­ier life­style, which in­cludes ad­her­ing to a healthy diet and reg­u­lar ex­er­cise.”

In his wel­come speech at the event, the Chair­man of NMM Steer­ing Com­mit­tee and Pres­i­dent of Nu­tri­tion So­ci­ety of Malaysia, Dr Tee E Siong, said: “The alarm­ing NCD statis­tics serve to spur us on, and this year, NMM con­tin­ues in its yearly tra­di­tion of play­ing its role in ful­fill­ing the Gov­ern­ment’s ef­forts of com­bat­ing NCDs. We not only hope to re­in­force the im­por­tance of healthy eat­ing and an ac­tive life­style, but also en­cour­age the pub­lic to start do­ing some­thing about it.

“In our ef­fort to reach out to more young Malaysians, NMM will con­tinue to spread the rel­e­vant nu­tri­tion mes­sages via its an­nual Food-Fit-Fun Fair or­gan­ised in shop­ping malls. The mes­sages are also avail­able dig­i­tally via the Nu­tri­tion Month Malaysia Face­book page and the of­fi­cial web­site. The pub­lic can, from any cor­ner of the coun­try, read all our ma­te­ri­als and past pub­li­ca­tions, and re­ceive up­dates on nu­tri­tion tips and facts.”

The five-day “Food-Fit-Fun Fair” served not only to en­ter­tain, but also em­power the whole fam­ily to lead a healthy life­style.

One of the key high­lights was the Nutri-Info Hunt, where vis­i­tors to the Food-Fit-Fun Fair would have ac­cess to a gi­ant poster ex­hi­bi­tion area which high­lighted sev­eral key mes­sages that in­clude guides to a bal­anced diet and healthy plate, mak­ing time for break­fast, ben­e­fits of whole grains and di­etary fi­bre, choles­terol and heart dis­ease and car­ing for di­ges­tive health with good bac­te­ria.

Vis­i­tors were also able to di­rectly en­gage with nu­tri­tion­ists by ask­ing them ques­tions re­lated to their con­cerns.

Vis­i­tors con­cerned with their risk fac­tors for non-com­mu­ni­ca­ble dis­eases (e.g. di­a­betes, obe­sity, heart dis­eases) were able to check their risk by get­ting a free health screen­ing.

This in­cluded checks on their body mass in­dex (BMI), body fat per­cent­age anal­y­sis, blood glu­cose and blood choles­terol. The health screen­ing was fol­lowed by free con­sul­ta­tion ses­sions with nu­tri­tion­ists and di­eti­tians.

An­other high­light of the fair was the Par­ent-Child Cook­ing Work­shop where par­ents had the op­por­tu­nity to ex­pe­ri­ence a fun cook­ing ses­sion while learn­ing about nu­tri­tion with their chil­dren.

There were also nu­mer­ous in­ter­ac­tive booths by spon­sors of the event.

NMM con­stantly strives to make lead­ing a healthy life­style fun yet prac­ti­cal for the fam­ily.

Each year, the NMM ini­tia­tive com­prises a yearly pub­li­ca­tion, a se­ries of ed­u­ca­tional press ar­ti­cles pub­lished in lead­ing news­pa­pers and mag­a­zines, con­tin­u­ous up­dates on nu­tri­tional in­for­ma­tion in Nu­tri­tion Month Malaysia Face­book page, com­mu­nity health mes­sages on ra­dio, and other rel­e­vant ac­tiv­i­ties con­ducted by state nu­tri­tion­ists and di­eti­tians.

This year, the an­nual pub­li­ca­tion fea­tures an in­fo­graphic-style book­let en­ti­tled “Eat Smart, Move More, Recipe for Healthy Fam­i­lies”.

The book­let aims to equip the reader with the nec­es­sary knowl­edge to make ap­pro­pri­ate food choices, start adopt­ing healthy food habits and lead an ac­tive life­style. This is essen­tial in build­ing a healthy fam­ily, which would in turn, leads to a happy fam­ily.

Vis­i­tors tak­ing part in the Nutri-Info-Hunt chal­lenge dur­ing Nu­tri­tion Month Malaysia 2017. — Hand­out

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