Saturday, November 02, 2013

Malaysians consume 500-700 extra calories a day, says health minister

The Malay Mail Online

PUTRAJAYA, Oct 28 — Malaysians, aged 18 and above, are consuming between 500 and 700 calories extra on a daily basis, cautioned Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam.
In disclosing this, he said based on a 2003 study on adult food intake, the average Malaysian adult consumed 2,500 kilocalories (kcal) daily, as compared to 1,500 kcal recommended for women and 2,000 kcal for men.
He said the additional calories could lead to various problems and chronic diseases as Malaysians generally did not exercise regularly.
“Taking an additional 500kcal a day for an individual could increase body weight by half to one kilogramme in a week, or two to four kilogrammes in a month.
“To burn 500 kcal, a male adult needs to cycle for 50 minutes, and a female adult, 68 minutes,” Subramaniam (picture) told a media conference on ‘Healthy Eating During Deepavali’ here today.
In a 2005-2007 report, the United Nations (UN) Food and Agriculture Organisation revealed that the average Malaysian consumed 2,910 kcal daily.
This is the highest intake as compared to other Asean countries such as Indonesia (2,540 kcal), Thailand (2,530 kcal), the Philippines (2,520 kcal), Myanmar (2,440 kcal) and Cambodia (2,250 kcal).
Dr Subramaniam said it was easier to reduce the intake of food, rather than burning the calories after eating.
He said the ministry had also issued a guide book entitled, ‘Healthy Eating During Deepavali’, to encourage a healthy eating habit.
“The guide book will raise the awareness of the people to practise healthy diet, especially during Deepavali, as most of the food served are high in calories,” he said.
He said the book could be downloaded via the ministry’s website at or — Bernama

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