Obesity and overweight issues could undermine Malaysia’s competitiveness

Hasliza Hassan (Faculty of Management, Multimedia University, Cyberjaya, Malaysia)
Abu Bakar Sade (Faculty of Business and Information Science, UCSI University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
Muhammad Sabbir Rahman (Department of Marketing and International Business, North South University, Dhaka, Bangladesh)

International Journal of Human Rights in Healthcare

ISSN: 2056-4902

Publication date: 9 July 2018

Abstract

Purpose

The Malaysian lifestyle has been undergoing changes over time. With better socio-economic conditions, Malaysians tend to consume more food today than they did previously. Excessive intakes of high calorie foods combined with little daily physical activity have led to increased numbers of overweight and obese people in the population. The purpose of this paper is to compare the incidence of overweight and obesity in the population in Malaysia with other Southeast Asian countries.

Design/methodology/approach

Data for this research were based on secondary data of average weight, overweight and obese people for populations in the Southeast Asian countries. The analysis for this research focused on the population in Malaysia and compared it with populations from neighboring countries.

Findings

The population in Malaysia was ranked the second highest in the number of overweight and obese people in the Southeast Asian region. In addition, the rate of increase overweight and obese people in the population of Malaysia was found to be the highest in the region. Since the percentage of overweight and obese people had increased consistently from 2010 to 2014, there was a high possibility that the momentum would continue into the following few years.

Originality/value

Being overweight and obese was not desirable by the majority of people as it could lead to various health diseases and psychological problems. Unfortunately, the percentage of overweight and obese people in Malaysia seems to be increasing. Improved socio-economic conditions have increased the amount of food normally consumed by people. Although many people were found to be aware of the negative impact of being overweight and obese, the majority of them did not seem to take the initiative to reduce their body weight. This research is expected to create awareness of the alarming rate of increase in the number of overweight and obese people in Malaysia in order to encourage a healthier lifestyle.

Keywords

Citation

Hassan, H., Sade, A. and Rahman, M. (2018), "Obesity and overweight issues could undermine Malaysia’s competitiveness", International Journal of Human Rights in Healthcare, Vol. 11 No. 3, pp. 204-213. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJHRH-09-2017-0050

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Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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