Muhyiddin: Govt committed to improving nutritional wellbeing of the people via National Nutrition Policy

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin attends the second day sitting of the Special Meeting of the Third Session of the 14th Parliament at Parliament in Kuala Lumpur, July 27, 2021. — Bernama pic
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin attends the second day sitting of the Special Meeting of the Third Session of the 14th Parliament at Parliament in Kuala Lumpur, July 27, 2021. — Bernama pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, July 27 — The government is committed to improving and maintaining the nutritional wellbeing of the people through the three objectives of the National Nutrition Policy (NNP) 2.0 launched today.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the three objectives are to upgrade nutrition status, reduce the prevalence of nutrition-related non-communicable diseases and strengthen food and nutrition security.

He said 13 comprehensive strategies have also been drawn up to achieve those objectives.

“In line with the policy, the government through the Ministry of Health is also in the midst of reviewing the National Nutrition Action Plan 2016-2025 which supports the strategies under the NNP.

“Apart from that, the main nutrition issues in the country, such as food security and nutrition had also been integrated into the National Agro-food Policy (NAP) 2.0,” he said at the virtual launch of the NNP 2.0 today, which was also attended by Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba. 

The prime minister said the country is currently facing the double burden of malnutrition with the increase in the obesity rate at all age groups and undernutrition especially among children below the age of five following the rapid development of socio-economy and changes in lifestyles and dietary patterns.

He said the matter needs serious attention as it is a universal health crisis especially when the Covid-19 pandemic is affecting all countries across the globe including Malaysia.

“Apart from the burden of non-communicable diseases caused by unhealthy diets, such as diabetes and hypertension, the Department of Statistics has also estimated that by 2030, Malaysia will become an ageing nation as the population aged 60 and above is projected to reach 15.3 per cent.

“With the worrying increase in the numbers and the projection of an increase in the burden of the diseases, prevention and control of the double burden of malnutrition is indeed a huge challenge to the country’s healthcare system,” he said.

Muhyiddin said efforts to eradicate and end malnutrition issues required a sustainable nutrition policy involving the government, private sector, industry and the people in line with the whole-of-government and whole-of-society concepts. 

In addressing the issue of malnutrition among children and teenagers, the prime minister said a joint committee involving relevant agencies and stakeholders would be set up soon.

“I want to stress that the NNP 2.0 is our policy because nutritional wellbeing is our common responsibility. So, I call on all quarters to bring the nutrition agenda forward and integrate the nutrition components into government policies and other relevant agencies,” he said.

Meanwhile, Muhyiddin said issues concerning food security and nutrition, especially during disasters had always been given serious attention by the government through the Cabinet Committee on National Food Security which he chaired.

He also expressed hope that the NNP 2.0 themed “Nutritional Wellbeing a Common Responsibility” would be the main reference and that the nutrition agenda could be integrated into the formulation of future policies and development action plans.

While praying that country would continue to prosper, the prime minister also expressed his appreciation to the Ministry of Health’s staff that have been committed to ensuring that nutrition and health services could continue to be effectively delivered to the public while the country is still in the recovery phase to transition out of the Covid-19 crisis. — Bernama

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