SIBU: Managing obesity is a shared responsibility of the government, industry, professional bodies, non-governmental organisations, communities and individuals besides the role played by diet and exercise.
Welfare, Women and Community Wellbeing Minister Datuk Fatimah Abdullah said working groups must be formed in communities, schools, healthcare facilities and workplaces to educate the people to take action.
“Obesity is a growing problem often associated with developed countries. As our economy grows, food shortage is basically unheard of. Within a period of three decades, Malaysia has undergone a transition from ‘under-nourished’ to relative ‘over-nourished’.
“A survey by Health Ministry in 2012 revealed that just over a quarter of Malaysian school children were obese or overweight,” she said when officiating at a ‘Fight Obesity’ campaign organised by Delta Leasing Sdn Bhd at SMK Sacred Heart here on Wednesday.
Fatimah went on to say that irrespective of age, ethnic and social status, obesity was a prevalent problem attributed to the country’s rapid development. The accelerated industrialisation and urbanisation in recent decades brought changes to people’s lifestyle.
“Sarawak is no exception as the incidence of obesity is on the rise here, especially among the middle aged. The state is not spared the expanding waistlines recorded all over Malaysia, which is Asean’s most obese nation, according to the survey,” she pointed out.
She commended Delta Leasing for organising the campaign as part of its corporate social responsibility.
“This shows what corporate bodies can do for the people and I urge others to emulate the example,” she said.
Earlier, Delta Leasing managing director Dr Gregory Hii said the company had set aside RM50,000 for the state-wide campaign which would run for two years.
They target secondary school students and young working adults aged 20 to 33.
Also present were Deputy Sibu Resident Wong Hee Seng, Sibu police chief ACP Saiful Bahri Abdullah, SMK Sacred Heart principal David Teo and Sibu Hospital director Dr Ngian Hii Ung.