Childhood obesity has always been a worrisome issue in Malaysia even before the pandemic COVID-19. There are changes in our norms, daily routines, and lifestyle as several lockdowns are implemented across the country due to the spreading virus that somehow affects our diet, sleeping patterns, and physical activity, which will lead the children and adolescents towards overweight/ obesity or worsen the condition itself.
Proactive action is needed to ensure our children’s health and safety for both now and towards the future. This issue needs to be taken seriously during the pandemic and after this. Associate Professor Dr Hazreen Abdul Majid, Vice President of Malaysian Dietitian Association and also Head, Centre for Population Health, Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya said providing healthy meals and snacks, active daily physical activities, and nutritional education for younger people is essential to reduce risk or prevent obesity.
Furthermore, parents play a vital role to monitor and control their children’s diet, preventing them from unhealthy food as it would only give empty calories which can lead to weight gain and nutritional deficiencies. Having a healthy food environment is crucial either at home or in a school environment. If we neglect this issue, they are at risk of developing non-communicable diseases from young.