Nearly half the adult population of Malaysia overweight or obese: Study

Nearly half the adult population of Malaysia overweight or obese: Study

December 25, 2017 0 By WFTV

And whose to blame for that? The Malaysians are blamed for eating too much and not exercising enough. supposedly the companies pushing their fatty products into the Malaysian households said a study revealed in the New York Times today.

While the companies pushing their products into the Malaysian households are said to be the good guys, revealed a study in the New York Times today.

But the article in the New York Times, which reads like a genuine health piece, is essentially a disguised advertorial in which the good Malaysian doctor, considered a ‘diva’ in the business in Asia argues for the multinational corporations.

To appease the multinationals, and turn the article in the favor of the big producers, Dr. Tee E Siong, Malaysia’s leading nutrition expert said the blame is on Malaysians for their obesity issues.

“We have to stop blaming the multinationals,” Dr. Tee said. The real problem, he continued, isn’t the type of food people eat, but how much of it, and their lifestyle.

“Malaysians are always eating. They don’t exercise,” he said. “But you don’t need to go the gym. You need to walk outside. It’s free. Get off your chair and move!”

The report said that over the past three decades, this increasingly prosperous nation has become the fattest country in Asia, with nearly half the adult population now overweight or obese.

Several years ago, Dr. Tee decided to act, organizing a far-reaching study of local diets and lifestyle habits.

“Several years ago, Dr. Tee E Siong, Malaysia’s leading nutrition expert, decided to act, organizing a far-reaching study of local diets and lifestyle habits.

“The research, conducted by scientists from the Nutrition Society of Malaysia, which Dr. Tee heads, has produced several articles for peer-reviewed academic journals. But scientists weren’t the only ones vetting the material. One of the reviewers was Nestlé, the world’s largest food company, which financed the research,” said the newspaper.

It said the study showed that children who drank malted breakfast beverages — a category dominated in Malaysia by Milo, a sugary powder drink made by Nestlé — were more likely to be physically active and spend less time in front of a computer or television.

The report also said that the research exemplified a practice that began in the West and has moved, along with rising obesity rates, to developing countries: deep financial partnerships between the world’s largest food companies and nutrition scientists, policymakers and academic societies.

The report indicated that big food companies that are spending significant funds in developing countries, in support of nutrition scientists, funding research projects and so on are paying scholars consulting fees.

They are also sponsoring most major nutrition conferences at a time when sales of processed foods are soaring.

In Malaysia sales have increased 105 percent over the past five years, according to Euromonitor, a market research company.

“When corporate money influences nutrition science, Dr Barry M. Popkin, a professor of nutrition at the University of North Carolina. said, the evidence of what is healthy for people “gets obscured, gets confounded.”

Dr. Tee is said to have used his position in the government to push for important steps to regulate companies, including a 2003 rule that required food companies to put nutritional information — the levels of fat, sugars and protein — on their packaging.

Read the full report here: In Asia’s fattest country, nutritionists take money from food giants