Diabetes to hit 21% of Malaysians by 2020

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diabetesMalaysia, the ASEAN country with the highest percentage of overweight and obese people, could face some sort of diabetes epidemic if the problems are left unaddressed, health officials have warned.

Based on the results of a recent health ministry report, the National health and Morbidity Surveys, the prevalence of diabetes could be 21.6 per cent for adults by 2020.

The ministry’s public health specialist Dr Feisul Idzwan Mustapha said this burden will affect productivity and would have a negative impact on the country’s socio-economic development, which can possibly delay the progress in achieving developed country status by year 2020.

Dr Feisul added that the impact can already be seen now, as an increasing number of patients with diabetes are seeking treatment at government clinics. There is an increase hospital admissions due to complications from diabetes, heart attacks and strokes.Dr Feisul said individuals and communities need to take responsibility for their health.

“Excess food intake and a decrease in physical activity has caused the increasing trend of obesity among Malaysians,” he said, adding that local governments and the Ministry of Youth and Sports would have to look into promoting the use of available and accessible facilities for exercise to increase the level of physical activity among Malaysians.

Though Dr Feisul said behavioural change does not come easily, “pro-health” policies are needed to create a supportive living environment to achieve positive changes.“Many policies and regulations on promoting a healthy environment lie outside the responsibility of the ministry. Therefore, we want the support of other ministries and stakeholders outside of the health sector in changing communities’ behaviour,” he said.

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Reading Time: 1 minute

Malaysia, the ASEAN country with the highest percentage of overweight and obese people, could face some sort of diabetes epidemic if the problems are left unaddressed, health officials have warned.

Reading Time: 1 minute

diabetesMalaysia, the ASEAN country with the highest percentage of overweight and obese people, could face some sort of diabetes epidemic if the problems are left unaddressed, health officials have warned.

Based on the results of a recent health ministry report, the National health and Morbidity Surveys, the prevalence of diabetes could be 21.6 per cent for adults by 2020.

The ministry’s public health specialist Dr Feisul Idzwan Mustapha said this burden will affect productivity and would have a negative impact on the country’s socio-economic development, which can possibly delay the progress in achieving developed country status by year 2020.

Dr Feisul added that the impact can already be seen now, as an increasing number of patients with diabetes are seeking treatment at government clinics. There is an increase hospital admissions due to complications from diabetes, heart attacks and strokes.Dr Feisul said individuals and communities need to take responsibility for their health.

“Excess food intake and a decrease in physical activity has caused the increasing trend of obesity among Malaysians,” he said, adding that local governments and the Ministry of Youth and Sports would have to look into promoting the use of available and accessible facilities for exercise to increase the level of physical activity among Malaysians.

Though Dr Feisul said behavioural change does not come easily, “pro-health” policies are needed to create a supportive living environment to achieve positive changes.“Many policies and regulations on promoting a healthy environment lie outside the responsibility of the ministry. Therefore, we want the support of other ministries and stakeholders outside of the health sector in changing communities’ behaviour,” he said.

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