On a mission to promote good eating habits and banish health problems

On a mission to promote good eating habits and banish health problems

Ling: The School Meals Program helps promote healthy eating habits among children.

Young people tend not to worry about their food consumption unless they are facing health issues.

They also tend to be more stubborn in making lifestyle changes and adjusting their eating habits, said Ling Tian Sun, head of the Johor Health and Unity Committee.

This is why the Ministry of Health is addressing this issue at the school level through initiatives such as the Healthy Meals Program in Schools to promote good eating habits among children and reduce health issues such as obesity.

“The program has been going on in Johor for the past 14 years, with schools in Yong Ping and Muar doing well and becoming model schools,” he added.

Ling advised the public to always practice moderation in their diet of choice.

According to the National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS) 2019, among 50.1% of Malaysian adults, 30.4% were overweight and 19.7% were obese.

Obesity rates also increased each year from 14% in 2006 to 15.1% (2011) and 17.7% (2015).

The next NHMS will take place in 2024.

Meanwhile, data from the Department of Statistics showed that heart disease remained the leading cause of death in 2020, followed by pneumonia, cerebrovascular disease and transport accidents.

Ang: The demand for healthy food options has skyrocketed during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns.Ang: The demand for healthy food options has skyrocketed during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns.

The report also said that most of those who died of heart disease were aged 41 and over.

Ang Tun Chek, owner of the health food store, noted that during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns when people were asked to stay home and have more time to prepare their meals, the demand for healthy food options rose.

He said sales in 2020 and 2021 rose twice as products such as bread ingredients such as wheat-free flour and sugar substitutes were the best sellers.

“It has also been a period where consumers have more time and opportunity to explore healthy eating options and experiment with recipes.

Along with ingredients like almond flour and coconut flour, konjac noodles have become a popular product.

“It’s made with root vegetables, and is sought after by those who want to avoid eating carbs.

“Most of my customers are middle-aged people who want healthy food options to address their health concerns such as diabetes,” he said at his outlet in Bandar Seri Alam, Johor Bahru.

Ang, who went through some of his own health issues that led him to start eating a low-carb, high-fat diet about eight years ago, said a lack of healthier options and alternatives led him to set up his own shop.

He said he wants to provide health-conscious clients with one place where he can also share his personal experience and recommendations.

“I am focused on sourcing locally made products and helping home-based entrepreneurs produce healthy pre-made sauces and pastries,” he added.

At another store in Taman Sentosa, the person in charge who only wanted to be known as Fong said he had noticed that people had become more health conscious over the years.

Over the past 20 years, he said, there’s been a gradual increase in customers looking for certified organic vegetables and fruits, which have made up at least 20% of his sales.

“Aside from fresh produce, healthy alternatives to rice, seasonings, sauces and seasonings are popular.

“From my conversations with our customers, I realize that they often buy items so that their children can eat better.

“We also have clients with specific nutritional or health needs, such as vegetarians and people with allergies.

“Each of our four outlets has at least one nutrition counselor on duty to provide advice and recommendations,” Fong said.


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