Anti-obesity campaign in schools yields worrying results

SIBU: A campaign against obesity launched in five secondary schools here six months ago produced worrying results – 30% of the 152 parti­cipants have actually gained weight.

Forty-six of those who took part in the campaign – which was also open to the public – gained between 1kg and 7kg despite being rewarded to lose weight.

Under the “Fight Obesity for a Better Quality of Life” campaign, those taking part, including Form Five students, teachers and members of the public, had to control their weight over a period of six months and then have their body mass index measured.

Those who lost 4kg would be rewarded with RM40, RM30 for 3kg, RM20 for 2kg and RM10 for 1kg.

Dr Hii Sui Cheng, chief executive officer of Delta Leasing Sdn Bhd, which started the campaign as part of its corporate social responsibility, said the results were worrisome.

“To my horror, some 30% have actually gained weight,” he said in his speech at the closing ceremony yesterday.

Dr Hii said with the national obesity rate at 50% of the total population, the campaign results could suggest this was on the upswing.

“Suffice for me to say here that it has proven to be a difficult task for a significant percentage of participants to lose weight, even with cash incentives,” he said.

Also present at the ceremony was Wel­fare, Women and Family Deve­­lopment Minister Datuk Amar Fatimah Abdullah.

Congratulating those who actually managed to lose weight, Dr Hii said he hoped they would continue to keep it under control to fend off diseases related to obesity.

He urged those who gained weight to try harder as obesity could lead to heart disease and diabetes.

Next year, the company will embark on Phase 2 of the campaign in Kuching, Bintulu and Miri, with another five schools selected in each location.

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