PUTRAJAYA, Jun 23 – The Cabinet Committee on Healthy Environment, at its inaugural meeting today, discussed the high-impact approach to creating a healthier living environment and ensuring the preservation of a healthy lifestyle among Malaysians.
The meeting, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, came up with high-impact resolutions as part of the government’s policy of curbing non-communicable diseases in the country. In a statement, Ahmad Zahid said the Cabinet Committee, which had the Health Ministry as the secretariat, carried the role to determine policies to establish an environment that supported the change in human behaviour pertaining to healthy eating and an active lifestyle.
“Studies had found that the lifestyle profile of Malaysians showed high risk of non-communicable diseases because 22.8% of the population (five million people) were smokers and 17.7% (3.3 million) were obese. Health care is the responsibility of every individual whether in terms of physical, mental, emotional or spiritual aspects. The state of health of an individual is closely related to dietary patterns, environmental hygiene and the individual’s daily activity,” he said.
“What is expected after this is a more effective response from the people and for them to be more responsible for their own health by adopting a healthier lifestyle, in addition to going for regular health screening. If the main risk factors of non-communicable diseases could be eliminated, about 75% of heart disease, stroke and diabetes in the country could be averted and 40% of cancers could be prevented,” he said.
Ahmad Zahid said that the results of the National Health and Morbility Survey 2015 presented by Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam on June 6 found a rise in non-communicable diseases in all age groups. Some 17.5% (3.5 million) of adults in the country had been diagnosed with diabetes, 30.3% (6.1 million) had hypertension and 47.7% (9.6 million) had high blood cholesterol levels, he said. He also said that people in the 18 to 30 age group with non-communicable diseases made up seven per cent of the population. — Bernama