Monday, October 6, 2014

SEANUTS : Bringing Health & Nutrition Back to Malaysian Children Discussion

I am invited to attend the SEANUTS (South East Asian Nutrition Surveys): Bringing Health & Nutrition Back to Malaysian Children A Conversation organized by Dutch Lady Malaysia on 23 April 2014 at The Garden Mall.
Contributing to this important discussion were Professor Dr. Poh Bee Koon, Head of Nutritional sciences Programme at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) and Principal Investigator for SEANUTS Malaysia; Dr. Mehander Singh Nahar Singh, sports and physical educator from the Ministry of Education; Dr. Yong Junina Fadzil, Consultant Paediatrician and two Malaysian parents.

It highlighted the nutritional status and lifestyle of Malaysian children and shared parental concerns as well as advice from the professionals on ways to improve the current health status of children. According to the findings of SEANUTS, one in 20 children were underweight, and one in five children were overweight or obese.

“Being active increases the amount of calories burned and tones up muscle. In fact, the WHO recommends that children and youth aged 5 to 17 should accumulate at least 60 minutes of moderate-to vigorous-intensity physical activity daily,” said Dr. Mehander.

Dr. Junina explained that Vitamin D is an essential nutrient needed for healthy bones and to control the amount of calcium in the blood. Dr Junina explained that the growing child needs calcium and other vital nutrients, and milk is one of the sources of it. The bottom line is, milk is good and healthy, but it is important to drink in perspective.

In summary of the discussion, Professor Dr. Poh said, “The SEANUTS findings warrant urgent attention from parents and policymakers to look into improving the nutritional and health status of Malaysian children through working with health scientists, pediatricians and physical activity experts.”

Concluding the discussion, Rahul Colaco, Managing Director of Dutch Lady Malaysia, expressed that by initiating this discussion among parties who have the health of Malaysian children at their hearts, we hope to generate awareness and more conversations on the topic for parents, healthcare professionals and even policymakers, so that they can jointly take proactive measures towards improving our children’s health”.

Colaco also gave a preview to Dutch Lady Malaysia’s “Drink, Move, Be trong” Campaign, held in partnership with the National Basketball Association (NBA) and underpinned by the findings of SEANUTS. 

The discussion is around 1 hour and we are being served for lunch after the discussion.

Dutch lady also given some children milk to us in the goodies bag before leaving.