Ex-soldier: NCOs more likely to be overweight


  • Nation
  • Friday, 09 Jul 2004

BY YAM PHUI YEE AND JOANNE GOH

KUALA LUMPUR: Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs) are more likely to be overweight because they do not train enough, said a former warrant officer with the army military intelligence unit. 

Datuk Wan Hassan Wan Zain said that while the NCOs were put in charge of the physical training aspects of the soldiers, it was not necessary for them to get involved in the training. 

“The soldiers do not have that many weight problems because they have to follow a strict physical training (PT) schedule twice a week,” he said.  

WEIGHT WATCH: Fourth Royal Armour Regiment commanding officer Lt Kol Kamrul Baharin Ismail (right) and his deputy, Mej Rajan Subramaniam, watching Sjn Annuar Usop recording the height and weight of army personnel at Penrisen Camp in Kuching on Wednesday. — STARpic by RAPAEE KAWI

“It’s the NCOs who usually have such problems. They are put in charge of the soldiers during the PT sessions and have the liberty not to follow the PT schedule. 

“When you simply eat and don’t exercise, of course you’ll fall sick and die.” 

Wan Hassan, 53, who weighed 65kg when he left the service in 1991, said he was able to maintain his present 68kg frame by doing aerobics, treadmill exercises and eating a lot of vegetables. 

He was commenting on a report by Chief of Armed Forces Jen Tan Sri Mohd Zahidi Zainuddin who said fat soldiers should be rewarded with a holiday if they could shed at least 10kg in six months. 

He said too many people in the armed forces were dying of illnesses related to diabetes, obesity and other diseases linked to a modern lifestyle. 

 

Malaysian Ex-Servicemen Association president Senator Datuk Muhammad Abdul Ghani said the problem of obesity was higher among officers and soldiers whose job functions were less physical in nature. 

 

“This group should be given more emphasis as they are the ones giving excuses such as heavy workload in the office to avoid PT and drill,” he told Bernama. 

Nutrition Society of Malaysia president Dr Tee E Siong cautioned the armed forces about the method of losing weight. 

 

He said that in order to lose weight effectively and maintain one’s weight, the person must be committed to a plan.  

“Half a kilogram weight loss in a month is the general guideline but it can be increased to 2kg depending on how active the person is,” Dr Tee said.  

“Most weight loss regimes fail when the person begins to gain all they had lost.”  

He said drug prescription was necessary for an obese person with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of over 40, depending on the lifestyle one leads. 

“BMI alone is not a reflection of excessive body fat,” he said, citing the measuring tape and other advanced measuring devices as alternatives to determine obesity. 

In Kuching, Kpl Dennis Thomas, who weighs 87kg, said he and his other overweight colleagues of the Third Brigade had been taking part in sports actively to lose weight. 

“We are not doing this for the reward but we just want to keep fit,” he said. 

L/Kpl Hidzamuddine Shaarin, a clerk, said he had been taking part in sports and had lost 15kg in recent months.  

He now weighs 90kg but believes he has a lot more work to do.  

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