- Healthy living
- Maintaining a healthy weight
Do you know that Malaysia is known as Asia's fattest country?
Malaysia recorded an increase in its obesity rate in 2015. The latest statistics showed that nearly 50% of the 30 million Malaysian population are either overweight or obese1
*based on the world health organizatian (1998) classification
Why are Malaysians getting fat?
Unhealthy food choices
Unbalanced daily diet
Age, gender and genetics can also affect one's risk of becoming overweight and obese.1,2
Is my weight healthy?
Find out now by calulating your body mass index (BMI) and measuring your waist circumference.
Healthy weight = Normal BMI + healthy waist circumference2
What is BMI?2
BMI = Weight(in kilograms) ÷ Height (in metres squared)
Alternatively, you can also use online BMI calculators or download phone apps to calculate your BMI and know your weight category.
How do I measure my waist circumference?3
- Find the bottom of your ribs and the top of your hips
- Wrap a tape measure around your waist midway between these points
- Breathe out naturally
- Take the measurement
Why do I need to maintain my weight in the healthy range?
Achieving a balance between the amount of calories you consume from diet and the amount of calories you burn off via physical activity is crucial if you want to maintain a healthy weight for a lifetime. Nevertheless, this may be difficult for many Malaysians due to the multiple variety of delicacies that are easily accessible in the country, and increased use of labour-saving devices and technology that has largely contributed to sedentary lifestyle.2
It is important to maintain your body weight within the healthy range throughout your life. This is because whether you are underweight, overweight or obese, it is harmful to you and your health.2
Disadvantages of being underweight, overweight or obese2
What can I do to achieve or maintain a healthy weight?
You can achieve or maintain a healthy weight by balancing calorie intake with physical activity2
If you are overweight
- Aim for a slow and steady weight loss (eg, by setting a realistic weight loss goal 0.5-1 kg per week). You may refer to your may dietitian to understand your realistic weight loss goal better
- Decrease calorie intake without sacrificing other nutrients
- Gradually increase your daily physical activity
If you are underweight
- Eat three main meals and one to three snacks in a day
- Choose foods with higher calorie content
- Eat larger portions of food
Consult a dietitian if you need more advice on the types and amounts of food you should include in your diet to achieve a healthy weight.
- Institute for Public Health (IPH) 2015. National Health and Morbidity Survey 2015 (NHMS 2015). Vol. II: Non-communicable diseases, risk factors & other health problems; 2015.
- Ministry of Health Malaysia. Malaysian dietary guidelines key message 2–maintain body weight in a healthy range; 2010.
- NHS choices. What’s your BMI? Available at http://www.nhs.uk/livewell/loseweight/pages/bodymassindex.aspx. Accessed 19 September, 2019.