Wednesday, April 27, 2011

For the Love of Nasi Lemak

A few months ago, I posted an article entitled Obesity in Malaysia. In it, I quoted a news article that claims 30% of Malaysians are overweight, and 30% are obese. I went on to discuss my nephew's weight problem and his bad eating habit. Maybe it's me, but whenever I get a chance to meet the boy, I can see him growing sideways all the time. According to my brother, Dennis, a doctor told him that his son is already 14kg overweight now. And the kid is only 10 years old.

Then recently, there's the excitement of monitoring the kind of food they serve in school canteens. Apparently, the authority is trying to curb the problem of obesity among young children which appears to be on the rise. It is thought that if unhealthy foods are removed from the school canteens, that can at least help to a certain extent. I think that's a good idea. In fact, I don't know why no one thought of doing it much earlier than this.

Earlier this year, the Sports Club of my company came up with its own version of The Biggest Loser. Employees who fall within the definition of "overweight" based on this guide are automatically eligible to compete for cash prizes. Briefly, we're using the Japanese definition by referring the to scale of Body Mass Index (BMI). But unlike the TV reality show, we don't hire trainers to help them. So it's entirely up to them to figure out how to lose weight on their own. The weigh-in will be conducted every quarterly, and the person losing the most percentage weight will be declared the winner.

Anyway, coming back to the food found in our school canteens, we now have this hoohahs about the nasi lemak. Although it is obviously not a healthy food, for some curious reasons, some people are not in favour of removing it from the schools' menu. I don't quite understand why it would take a long time to find an alternative snack in place of the nasi lemak. Of course I'd expect a special committee will soon be set up to study the case of the nasi lemak in our schools. We're good with that sort of thing, you see—even nasi lemak requires special investigative research.

However, I'm not saying that I'm against all this. If the nasi lemak issue can only be resolved after an exhaustive "study" by some people who pretend to be "experts" on the matter, then I suppose we will just have to bear with them. But this thing about being overweight is actually not limited to school kids only, you know. Maybe some of the leaders of this nation should also heed the doctor's advice?

Apparently, the Deputy Prime Minister has a special interest in ensuring a healthy young generation in this country. I guess that is logical enough; I suppose a healthy workforce can result in a more productive nation for our future. But I wonder if the Deputy Prime Minister has ever determined what's his body mass index; I bet it'd be interesting to know where on the scale of BMI he is at right now.

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