Deputy Health Minister Datuk Rosnah Abdul Rashid said Malaysia had the highest number of obese citizens in the region.
“This is very worrying as the country is also ranked sixth among Asian countries,” she said after launching the Cakna Kesihatan programme at Kampung Pasir Nering here yesterday.
Rosnah said her ministry had set a target to reduce 30% of the weight for those classified as obese nationwide.
“We'll do this through efforts such as introducing a calorie guideline in schools as well as instilling healthy lifestyle habits among university students.
“Studies conducted have revealed obesity is common among urban people, given the high number of fast food outlets located in towns and cities.
“We are also organising various health checkups through the respective health departments nationwide to ensure that the people can gauge their health levels,” she said.
Rosnah said 60% of deaths worldwide were due to non-communicable disease and obesity was a type of NCD.
“Such deaths can be prevented if only people would take charge of their lives,” she said.
“It is not hard to exercise, thus the ministry has introduced the 10,000 steps a day programme.”