Policy-makers Can Help Inculcate Healthy Regime

KUCHING: A consolidated effort involving both the public and private sectors, including top policy makers, is very much needed to inculcate a healthy lifestyle to combat the rise of non-communicable disease cases in the country.

Assistant Minister of Public Health Datuk Dr Jerip Susil said non-communicable diseases including diabetes in particular, is one of the critical problems facing Malaysians today.

Combating these diseases, providing treatment, running educational programmes takes a huge amount of the nations budget each year and this creates a financial burden and could become a threat to the nations productivity.

The 2011 National Health and Morbidity Study (NHMS) revealed about 2.6 million or 15.6 per cent Malaysians aged 18 years and above have diabetes. This was an increase from 11.6 per cent over the span of five years from 2006. A total of 5.8 million (32.7 per cent) have high blood pressure while 6.2 million or 35.1 per cent have high cholesterol level.

A recent Oxfam International report on worldwide food quality and consumed food of poor nutritional diversity, projected the prevalence of diabetes among those who are 18 years and above could hit 4.5 million by 2020.

In the state, about 3.4 per cent of its 2.5 million population have diabetes. The Health Department revealed that registered diabetic patients have increased from 69,669 in 2011 to 85,108 last year an increase of 22 per cent.

Health education is one way to educate the public but a consolidated effort is very much needed to inculcate healthy living to the whole population at large. Every individual must take responsibility and be health conscious. This includes living an active lifestyle.

Each individual must consider regular exercise everyday. The lack of exercising and improper diet are the two major challenges in our society today.

We can advised the society, create programmes but it is difficult to raise awareness if we cant get individuals to translate that knowledge into positive behaviour. However, a policy in place to support healthy living could push the society into adopting a healthy lifestyle, Dr Jerip said when contacted Thursday.

The Bengoh assemblyman suggested that there should be a governmental policy in place where both the public and private sectors find ways to encourage and support their staff to be healthy. Health education should also be part and parcel of the consolidated effort, introduced as early as possible in school. Healthy eating habits must be inculcated amongst the younger generations.

Cities and townships should be equipped with parks and spaces to promote walking. Housing estates must also be friendly for exercise activities.

He said that in Japan and Korea, there exists a practice where it is compulsory for workers to exercise in the morning. He suggested that here, the public and corporate sectors should not only focus on encouraging employees for health screening, but also allow more time for exercise.

They must encourage employees to spend at least 30 minutes daily exercising. A good output of exercise will increase the output of performance in office. Some of the successful corporate companies promote exercise by setting up gyms in the office. Some even allow their employees to switch off, say, at around 4.30pm and head to the gym before clocking off at around 5pm.

Dr Jerip emphasised the need to establish a culture where everyone wants to be healthy. It is somewhat proven that individuals who managed to become healthier and fitter by adopting healthy living could create a contagious, positive effect to the people in their surroundings.

Touching on early health awareness among primary school pupils, he opined that there should be a policy in the education system, or at least an understanding between teachers and parents, to raise the alarm if their children are inclining towards obese status.

At the moment, it can be quite sensitive to discuss children obesity with parents as some may see their children as being well-built instead. Sometimes, children being overweight translates into a cultural mindset that the children is well fed by their parents. We have to be very careful when tackling this subject, he explained.

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  1. Reply

    How Can I Keep Up My Healthy Lifestyle Over Easter? I have been trying to keep a healthy lifestyle, build fitness and lose a little fat. But I am surrounded by Easter treats, mum has been baking loads, have Easter eggs from family and my bf wants to get me an Easter egg too. Don’t get me wrong, I love how sweet everyone is being, but all of this will just make me I’ll. What should I do?

    1. Reply

      If you’d like me to be honest, I think that the healthiest lifestyles include enjoying things. So every now and then, let go of the fact that “something will make me fat” and enjoy it. I think that often as people we give up a large part of living just to stay skinny. I used to be that way, and as much as I told myself it was worth it, it really wasn’t. Enjoy it, and don’t go on a guilt trip over it.

      That being said, there are several things you can do to avoid extra treats. Stay away from the kitchen as much as possible, as well as where things are being served. When you get things, get just a small bit. I’ve noticed that with a lot of sweetbreads and cakes and such, a very thin slice takes just as long to eat as a thick one and is usually just as satisfying. If not, you can even get a second (which, sliced thinly enough, is still smaller than the thick slices would be). Another trick I’ve learned is “sharing”–if it is a roll or whatever, just eat half of it and “share” the other half with someone else (maybe someone else who either just wants half, or someone who wants more than one).

      Enjoy Easter!

  2. Reply

    How The Computer Is Supporting Us In Our Healthy Lifestyle? How do computer helps people in their healthy lifestyle? How can The computer help people? Is it from websites? advertisements? I need it really badly. How can the computer is supporting to improve our healthy lifestyle. in what ways? How can computer promote the quality of healthy lifestyle. How can computer convince people to stop unnecessary things like drugs or alcohol? How can computer HELP us?
    AT least 6-8 points would do. thank you.

    1. Reply

      The computer is not a healthy lifestyle for people. It programs us to thinking we can find everything on here. Jobs, pay bills, shop, everything! We can do that ourselves and it seems technology is taking the chores away from us, that can be easily done by human themself. The computer can help us though when we need to find information, imformation fast. Websites help us retain information, advertisements are just like commericals there just trying to sell or maniupulate us to buy whatever their advertising. The computer is not improving our healthy lifestyle. Peoples eyes can go out of sight and hurt very badly(like mine and i’m only 15 years old.) from years and years staring at the computer. The worst thing to stare at is a computer screen — I don’t know why I still do it for hours at end, but I do. The computer will never promote the quality of healthy lifestyle, its just not possible. The computer can convince people to stop drugs and alcohol but if you think about it would you rather have an obsession over the computer for hours at the day, you have to be near the computer you have to be on it then doing drugs or alcohol? The computer is just as bad addiction as alcohol and drugs. The computer cannot HELP us other then give us fast information when we need it. The computer although has so much information and so many untrusted sites you never know if what your reading is a lie. And I hope I get 10 points because I just wasted my time answering this long question, I hope you weren’t just asking this for the heck of this — I hope it was for some essay lol.

      Take care bye

  3. Reply

    How Can I Live A More Healthier Lifestyle? Hi everyone I am a 18 year old girl who is about to start college in a few weeks. Basically I want to start living a healthier lifestyle, because I want to have more energy than I do now since I am going to have a busy schedule this semester. Do you know of any exercises that I can do at home that could keep me in shape. Also how can I change my eating habits, as of now I just eat whatever I want. I’m 5’0 and weigh 148lbs which is about 30lbs overweight for my height I think.

    1. Reply

      A healthier lifestyle is largely composed of your diet. If you want to lose weight, you will have to create what’s called a caloric deficit- eating less calories than you’re burning each day, without eating too little which could cause you to store fat instead. Some examples of a healthier diet might be have eggs/toast or a lettuce sandwich or oatmeal for breakfast, with snacks in the day being things such as almonds (nuts in general) , fruits, vegetables etc. For dinner, whole-grains pastas, lean chicken, salad, etc are all good choices. Eat healthy, but switch it up too! For an exercise plan I would recommend following a specific routine like The 30 Day Shred by Jillian Michaels. And just try to add more movement in your life as well- every little bit helps!

      Good luck, I hope you enjoy college!

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