Most Malaysian adults do not eat the recommended amount of vegetables required daily, according to nutritionist Dr Yasmin Ooi Beng Houi. Dr Ooi, who is the food science and nutrition faculty deputy director at Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS), said this applies to 95 per cent of all Malaysian adults, which contributes to rising prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) like diabetes and hypertension, and anaemia – a blood disorder caused by iron deficiency – in women of reproductive age.
The Ministry of Health’s (MOH) Malaysian Dietary Guidelines recommend at least two servings of fruits and three servings of vegetables every day.
Dr Ooi said the national trend for a number of NCDs were “alarming”, citing the prevalence of hypertension at 30 per cent and diabetes at 20 per cent. According to the National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS) in 2019, one in two adult Malaysians are overweight or obese.