PUTRAJAYA: A sustainable multi-sector policy is needed to end all issues linked to malnutrition, says Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
He said that such a policy must be parallel to the “whole of government and whole of society” concept.
“The policy has three objectives, which are to improve nutritional status, to reduce prevalent non-communicable diseases that are related to nutrition, and dietary habits as well as strengthen food security," said Muhyiddin.
Speaking at the launch of the National Nutrition Policy 2.0, he said the government is committed to improving the people’s nutritional well-being.
He added that efforts to end all issues related to malnutrition require a policy that is sustainable and includes the government, the private sector and industries, as well as the Malaysian people themselves.
“To achieve the targets of this policy, 13 strategies have been formulated to ensure the nutritional wellbeing of Malaysians,” he said when launching the policy on Tuesday (July 27).
The Prime Minister pointed out that rapid socio-economic development and changes in lifestyle and dietary practices have affected the people’s nutritional well-being and the polarity of illness in the society.
“This has resulted in the country having to face a double burden of malnutrition with an increase in the obesity rate as well as the issue of lack of nutrition particularly among children under the age of five which requires serious attention,” he said.
Muhyiddin said aside from the burden of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and hypertension, it is estimated that Malaysia will achieve an “aging country” status in 2030, where 15.3% of its citizens will be of 60 years and above.
“With the rise in these figures, prevention and control of the double burden will be a challenge to the country’s healthcare,” he said.
He said the government has also received the National Nutrition Action Plan to support strategies outlined in the policy.
“With the revision, the government hopes to produce a healthy generation by ensuring that nutritional wellbeing starts from young.
“To resolve the issue of malnutrition among children and adolescents, a committee will be set up,” he said.