Main Menu

Complaints Centre

Home CRRC in the Media CRRC Media 2009 Fatter because of junk food
Fatter because of junk food PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Monday, 16 March 2009 17:41


By : Veena Babulal

PETALING JAYA: A survey shows that Malaysians aged 30 and above are more likely to be obese, diabetic and suffer from high blood pressure compared with those in the same age group 10 years ago.

And the Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations (Fomca) blames junk food for this.

Fomca official Paul Selva Raj said obesity had tripled from four per cent to 14 per cent among those aged 30 and above in the last 10 years because of the consumption of unhealthy food.

Quoting the 2006 National Health and Morbidity Survey, which is conducted once in 10 years, he said the number of people suffering from diabetes rose from 8.3 per cent in 1996 to 14.9 per cent in 2006, whereas the number of people with hypertension rose from 29.9 per cent to 42.6 per cent in the same period.

At a supermarket sweep organised by Fomca at the Giant hypermarket in Kota Daman-sara yesterday, Paul called on the authorities to break the cycle of disease and junk food consumption.

His remarks were prompted by the findings of the sweep.

At the event, eight children aged 6 to 13 were given RM50 to shop. Most chose potato chips, carbonated drinks, salty, creamed or sugary biscuits and chocolates, indicating that junk food campaigns had won the day.

"Parents and teachers educating children on the benefits of nutrition and healthy eating alone will not work without solid legislation banning the sale and advertisement of unhealthy food."

He said there should be a blanket ban on junk and fast foods television commercials.

"We conducted a survey and found that 40 per cent of commercials aired during children's programmes were on such foods, despite the Health Ministry's ban on junk food advertisements in such slots."

He said the authorities should investigate whether junk food companies were sponsoring school activities and stop this insidious form of marketing.

He also called on the government to enforce a "traffic light" food-labelling system, such as the one used in Britain, to boost consumer awareness of nutrition.

It specifies the ingredients used in food products, and a colour code gives a guide on nutrition. Red represents foods high in sugar and green represents foods low in fat.

"The system makes it easier for consumers to manage their diet and it indirectly prompts manufacturers to formulate healthier versions of their products."


Last Updated on Monday, 16 March 2009 17:48