Obesity in Malaysia targeted at personalised nutrition event
04 November 2022
As part of a project led by Professor Vimal Karani, University of Reading, in partnership with Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR), members of the public and VIPs attended a community event: “Science Meets Society: Integrating Food, Gene and Population”.
Malaysia has the highest rates of obesity in adults in Southeast Asia. Professor Karani and Dr Anto Cordelia (UTAR) presented the evidence that interactions between genetics and nutrition are key to mitigating this worrying trend.
Professor Karani said: “Half the adult population is overweight or obese and that represents a significant challenge to public health. We now understand that identifying a genetic predisposition to obesity opens the door to early dietary interventions. The potential for this type of personalised nutrition in such a population is huge and we are glad to have had the opportunity to share our work.”
The event, held in Yayasan Ipoh, last Sunday, was funded by the British Council and the Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT) through the Nutrigenetics and Nutrigenomics Research and Training Unit (N2RTU) project.
As well as presenting information to the public and gathered VIPs, attendees took part in fitness challenges – who could do the longest plank or squat, for example – and enjoyed other activities, a free lunch, refreshments, and gifts of fresh vegetables and probiotics.
The N2RTU project, funded by MIGHT and the British Council, continues to focus on studying the Malay population in urban areas and training local doctors, nurses, nutritionists and dieticians to use nutrigenetics and nutrigenomics in their work.
Professor Karani said: “Bringing our research into the community is always tremendously valuable. We can make positive changes to people’s wellbeing, while researching the potential of personalised nutrition as a tool for public health in Malaysia.”