Health Ministry allocates RM12 mln to address obesity

MASS EXERCISE: Liow (front centre) joins some 3,000 participants in a work-out before launching the ‘Walk 10,000 Steps’ and ‘Karnival Jelajah Sihat’ programme. — Bernama photo

BENTONG: The Health Ministry is allocating RM12 million for the ‘Walk With the People’ programme, a campaign aimed at addressing obesity and to educate the public to lead a healthy lifestyle.

Its minister, Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, said the campaign would be part of the activities for the  ‘Karnival Jelajah Sihat’ programme to be launched simultaneously in 88 districts and villages nationwide.

“The ‘Walk 10,000 Steps’ campaign is also among efforts to address obesity because it increases the risk of hyper-tension, cholesterol and diabetes,” he told reporters after launching the ‘Karnival Jelajah Sihat’ here yesterday.

Also present were Health deputy director-general Datuk Dr Lokman Hakim Sulaiman, State Health director Datuk Dr Noraini Baba, State Local Government, Environment and Health Committee chairman Datuk Hoh Khai Mun and Ketari state assemblyman Datuk D Ng Kwan Chai.

Liow said lack of exercise and unhealthy dietary habits were believed to be the main cause of obesity which was a gateway to various chronic diseases.

He said statistics on people with diabetes continued to show an increase every year, from 11 per cent in 2006 to 15 per cent last year.

Based on health screenings carried out in the country, 2.6 million people had diabetes, he said, adding that the number did not include those who were not aware that they had the disease.

The government, he said, would continue to carry out various campaigns to educate and instill awareness among the people to lead a healthy lifestyle.

“Going for health screening is also important for early detection of any chronic diseases,” he added. — Bernama

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