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So are you one of the growing number of Obese Malaysians?

The Health Minister was quoted as saying the number of obese people is increasing in Malaysia

About 50% of 13 million Malaysian adults could be overweight or obese, a worrying trend that seems to be on the rise.
Health Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai said while the National Health and Morbidity Survey in 2006 revealed that 43.1% of Malaysian adults were overweight or obese, which was double the figure from a decade ago, the numbers could have already increased since then.
Liow blamed the disturbing situation on the lack of proper health knowledge, adding that Malaysians needed to be better informed and motivated to stay healthy, in terms of diet, physical activity, stress management and disease prevention.

But are you obese? If you calculate your BMI this will be a helpful indicator. BUT the Western notion of a BMI more than 30 as a marker of obesity does not apply.
The ranges recommended for Asians are:
27.5 and above: High Risk (Obese)
23 – 27.4 : Moderate Risk (Overweight)
18.5 – 22.9 : Low Risk (Healthy range)
Below 18.5 :Underweight

Abdominal obesity however, is perhaps a more important health indicator and is defined as having a waist circumference of more than 90 centimetres (35.4 inches) for men and more than 80cm (31.4 inches) for women.


Indeed, Abdominal Obesity is an important marker for Cardiovascular disease and the Metabolic syndrome


Here are the AHA Recommendations for Managing the Metabolic Syndrome:

The primary goal of clinical management of the metabolic syndrome is to reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Then, the first-line therapy is to reduce the major risk factors for cardiovascular disease: stop smoking and reduce LDL cholesterol, blood pressure and glucose levels to the recommended levels.

For managing both long- and short-term risk, lifestyle therapies are the first-line interventions to reduce the metabolic risk factors. These lifestyle interventions include:

* Weight loss to achieve a desirable weight (BMI less than 25 kg/m2)
* Increased physical activity, with a goal of at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity on most days of the week
* Healthy eating habits that include reduced intake of saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol

There are no short cuts! Liposuction for instance will not work as it only removes the outer fat but not the intra abdominal fat and does not alter your cardiovascular risk.

Related links:
Check your waistline
Malaysian Association for the Study of Obesity (MASO)

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