In Penang, they eat even late at night. I used to observe it in KL
more than 10 years ago where people have dinner at midnight.
In Sabah and Sarawak, most restaurants are closed before midnight.
Even the seafood restaurant that we visited in Kuching already closed
before 8 pm. In fact were the last customer.
Unlike in Penang. The restaurant at Seberang Perai, only open at 5pm
and closes at 3am. Even at 1 am, it was so crowded.
Sabah and Sarawak makes up 60% of the area of Malaysia and much more
obvious in the map of Malaysia, and population wise it makes up a
quarter of Malaysia and growing more rapidly.
Sunday April 11, 2010
Malaysians getting obese - by eating too heavily at night
By FLORENCE A. SAMY
PETALING JAYA: More Malaysians are keeping awake till late to indulge
in what is becoming a top national pastime – tucking it in at 24-hour
Yes, we are practically eating round-the-clock. If you are still not
convinced, take a look at the goings-on at mamak shops close to and
way past midnight.
These shops have sprouted up all over the country to satisfy the
cravings of Malaysians who are gorging on calorie-packed late night
meals with hardly a care – and getting obese in the process.
Statistics show that the prevalence of obesity among Malaysian adults
increased by a staggering 250% over a 10-year period from 1996 while
the number of overweight has increased by 70%.
The National Health and Morbidity Survey in 2006 showed that two out
of every five adults or 43%, were either overweight or obese and an
alarming situation where the number of obese adults had more than
tripled over a decade, from 4% in 1996 to 14% in 2006.
Besides that, about 38% of youngsters aged between 12 and 18 were
classified as overweight.
A recent survey involving 10,000 students showed that 24% of those
aged between six and 12 were either overweight or obese.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai is obviously a very worried
man, with more Malaysians at risk of being seriously ill due to
"It has to change ... an unbalanced diet and eating late at night,''
he cautioned. "In the past, we used to have two meals. These days, we
are eating five to six times daily with late-night suppers at mamak
stalls,'' he said after launching the Malaysian Council for Obesity
Prevention (MCOM) here yesterday.
MCOM, which comprises 13 professional bodies and NGOs, was set up to
help the government counter the problem of obesity in the country.
The minister, an avowed vegetarian, spoke of another worrying trend –
meat is fast becoming a staple-diet here. A diet rich in red meat
causes high cholesterol which leads to cardio-vascular disease.
"Available data on the prevalence of overweight and obesity indicates
that the problem we face may be more serious than those in other
countries of the region," he added.
Being overweight and obese, he said, would lead to chronic diseases
such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and even cancer.
According to statistics, 14.9% and 43% of Malaysians aged above 30
suffer from diabetes and hypertension respectively, with 20.7% of
adults over 18 suffering from high cholesterol.
Liow said 300 nutritionists would be employed to serve at government
clinics nationwide to help tackle obesity problems by creating
awareness on the dangers of unhealthy eating.
Malaysian Council for Obesity Prevention (MCOM) president Jong Koi
Chong echoed the minister's concerns, saying the unhealthy eating
trend was becoming a major problem.
"Our metabolic rate is very low at night making it easy for fat to
accumulate in the body.
"Most 24-hour restaurants serve food that is high in fat, calories and
cholesterol. Sadly, more of our young are picking up bad eating habits
from adults,'' he added.