Malaysia is one of the fattest nations in Asia and obesity has been on the rise. Obese patients are at high risk of getting non-communicable diseases.
In conjuction with the launch of the ‘Go For 100 Years Old’ online health group, a health webinar session titled ‘Panel Discussion on Health Enhancement’ was held on on weight management and the ways to manage and overcome obesity.
Moderated by Asia HRTF Health Ambassador Jagjeet Singh, the webinar featured speakers Angela Hancock, a health and wellness coach from Bust-A-Rut, and Ravinder Singh, the president and co-founder of Malaysia TowerRunning Association.
Be mindful of your eating habits
“For food to help you and be your medicine, it is about you understanding and being totally present with your eating habits and making balanced choices,” said Angela, presenting on the topic ‘Let Food be your medicine – How eating well will keep you strong and healthy’.
The common misconception, she shared, when it comes to weight management, is that people believe they cannot escape obesity because of genetics.
However, according to Angela, weight management issues are not due to genetics but eating habits and choices they make, which is most likely picked up from their family since young.
She added: “You need to be mindful and be aware of the choices made. Too many people focus on calories and weight rather than the effect of the food eaten on the body. Knowing where you get your calories from is important.”
For example, a person can get 40 calories worth of energy from 10 grams of sugar or from 10 grams of strawberries.
“The strawberries will give a good and steady energy boost which will support the body. Meanwhile, the sugar will give an energy spike initially before going into a dip which will make you hungrier. And you will end up making cycles of poor food choices.”
Tools to overcome Malaysia’s obesity problem
The main challenge of Malaysia’s obesity problem is the inability to make people change their habits and lifestyle.
“All this while, we have been trying by educating the public on topics such as nutrition and exercise but it does not seem to be effective,” said Ravinder.
He believes that by introducing a set of tools for people to follow will be more effective.
Ravinder, in his presentation ‘Scientific Way to Fight Obesity. Starting in Malaysia’, shared the tools he developed following years of study and research:
Weight management – Calories In, Calories Out – Managing calorie consumption and calorie burnt based on one’s ideal energy requirement.
Menu Calories Listing – To identify and be aware of the number of calories consumed from food.
Stairs – one step at a time – Exercise; Walking up a hill or climbing stairs for better cardio benefits.
Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT) and active life – Daily life activities such as cleaning the house, pacing while on the phone, ironing and so on as a form of non-structured exercise.
National Health Score – A form of report card marking the progress made so far in terms of lifestyle, health and feelings. — The Health