Monday, November 18

‘Malaysians eat less fruits than WHO’s recommendations’

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According to WHO’s latest statistics, Malaysians’ fruit consumption rate is only at 63kg per person annually, versus the 146kg per person per year in other developed countries. — Bernama photo

BUTTERWORTH: A study conducted by the Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (Fama) has shown that an average Malaysian’s fruit consumption is eight times lower than the World Health Organisation (WHO)’s recommendation.

Fama chairman Ishak Ismail said the study had concluded that a Malaysian, on average, took 5kg of fruits per month, against the 40kg recommended by WHO.

“The latest statistics issued by WHO last year stated that Malaysians’ fruit consumption rate only reached 63kg per person annually, as compared with 146kg per person per year in other developed countries,” he told reporters here yesterday.

Earlier, he joined Penang Health, Agriculture, Agro-based Industry, Rural Development Committee chairman Dr Afif Bahardin to launch a campaign to promote fruit consumption, in conjunction with the annual Penang Durian Festival in Seberang Jaya expo site.

Ishak, in citing World Health Report 2003, said WHO also stated that a low fruit and vegetable intake was among the top 10 risk factors contributing to attributable mortality.

On the three-day campaign, he said it was targetting students and teachers at schools and colleges to educate as well as to raise awareness of the importance of fruit consumption.

“We will be educating the youngsters through competitions, literature and even field trips to fruit farms to show the importance of fruits in our lifestyle,” he said.

Ishak added that a similar campaign would be held in Perak from July 25 to 27, as well as in Terengganu between Aug 5 and 7. — Bernama