Diet and lack of exercise have been blamed for a tripling of the number of obese people over the past 15 years, from 5 per cent in the late 1990s to 15 per cent and growing today.
“We are currently looking at a number of ideas and are working closely with dieticians and doctors to plan the best way to work towards reducing people’s waistlines,” said an official at the ministry of health in Kuala Lumpur.
Dietician Marcus Yu told the website Bikyamasr.com that Malaysians needed to eat less meat and called for a re-examination of cultural practices.
“I understand that Malaysia does have a history of meat-eating, but never before has it reached these levels,” he said. “People are eating meat and leaving out other items from meals on a regular basis.”
Through a drive to encourage fitness and nutrition the government hopes to limit the health spending costs associated with obesity, such as dealing with an epidemic of adult onset diabetes.