| Achong Tanjong |
OBESITY is a major risk factor for non-communicable diseases and is indeed a worrying issue faced by communities the world over.
The issue of being obese or overweight needs to be handled with utmost determination by all stakeholders, but more importantly, it is crucial that each individual is made aware of the need to adopt a healthy lifestyle.
Minister of Health Pehin Orang Kaya Johan Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awg Hj Adanan bin Begawan Pehin Siraja Khatib Dato Seri Setia Awg Hj Mohd Yusof yesterday highlighted this during the launch of the Active and Recreational Programme Project for Health (PARK Project), held in conjunction with the ‘Family Day and Fun Sports’ for Mukim Kota Batu residents at Tasik Sarubing Recreational Park in Kampong Belimbing.
The event was organised by the Ministry of Health (MoH) through the Health Promotion Centre, with cooperation from the Mukim Kota Batu Consultative Council, Kampong Belimbing Village Consultative Council and KESAN Association.
The PARK programme is the ministry’s first project for 2015, held as part of continued efforts to raise awareness on the need to lead a healthy lifestyle and remain physically active.
The minister pointed out that based on research by the World Health Organization (WHO), in 2008, over 1.4 billion adults (aged 20 and above) were overweight. The total has doubled since 1980.
He added, the issue of being obese or overweight contributes to 44 per cent of the burden of diabetes, 23 per cent of the burden of heart disease, and between seven to 41 per cent of the burden of cancer. It can cause muscle and bone disorder, especially osteoarthritis.
Meanwhile, a total of 42 million children aged five and below were overweight in 2013. Childhood obesity, if not prevented or controlled, could lead to the possibility of premature death and disability in adulthood.
We have similar concerns here in Brunei, the minister said. In 1997, the obesity rate among adults had doubled from 12 per cent to 27 per cent by 2011.
Based on the Global School Health Survey 2014, students or youths aged 13 to 17 years showed an obesity rate of 17 per cent.
If the issue is not addressed, it could lead to various diseases and health issues, on top of affecting an individual’s quality of life, productivity level and income, and becoming a burden to the family.
The minister pointed out that the issue of childhood obesity has been given serious attention by His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, as mentioned in the monarch’s 2015 New Year celebration titah.
In line with the Active and Recreational Programme for Health’s theme ‘Maritah Beriadah Di Taman’, the minister urged all parties, young and old, to take the step towards becoming more physically active and, in doing so, to make good use of all facilities provided by the government.
The minister later congratulated the Kg Belimbing Consultative Council for successfully becoming a model to other village consultative councils in its support of promoting healthy lifestyle activities among the local community.
Attending the launch were Permanent Secretary at the Prime Minister’s Office Dato Paduka Awang Hj Mohd Roselan bin Hj Mohd Daud, who is also the adviser of Kg Belimbing Village Consultative Council; Penghulu Mukim Kota Batu cum PARK Programme co-chairman Naim bin Hj Khamis; State Legislative Council member cum Kg Belimbing Village Head YB Awg Hj Gapor @ Hj Mohd Daud bin Karim; Dr Ernina Nisdzarinah binti Hj Abd Rani, the Head Section of Healthy Lifestyle Promotion, Health Promotion Centre; Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Health Datin Paduka Dr Hjh Norlila binti Dato Paduka Hj Abd Jalil; Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Home Affairs Dato Paduka Dr Hj Affendy bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Hj Abidin; Senior Special Duties Officer at the Ministry of Health Haji Mahrub; deputy permanent secretaries from both the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Home Affairs; Acting Brunei-Muara District Officer Mohammad Sunadi bin Hj Buntar, heads of department, officers and members of consultative council, Mukim Kota Batu residents and representatives from the private sector and educational institutions.
Various activities were held at the event, which was open to the public. This included aerobic sessions, trekking and walkathons and fun sports for children, adults and elderly citizens.
The day also saw the minister and his wife presenting prizes to the ‘Elderly Healthy Example’ from Mukim Kota Batu.
The recipients were Hj Majid bin Nasir from Kg Menunggol, Hj Metali bin Ahmad from Kg Pelambayan, Hj Marsidi bin Tamin from Kg Sg Bunga, Hj Mohd Zainin bin Hj Abu Bakar from Kg Dato Gandi, Hj Maidin bin Taha from Kg Sg Belikut, Hjh Rosni binti Hj Johari from Kg Menunggol, Hjh Saimah binti Kawan from Kg Belimbing, Noraiah binti Jarudin from Kg Subok, Hjh Gambar binti Hj Ali from Kg Sg Matan and Hjh Halimah binti Tengah from Kg Pudak.