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