The main causes of death and morbidity in the country for the past 3 decades have been diet-related noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) such as heart disease, diabetes and cancers. Risk factors of these NCDs, associated with overnutrition, especially obesity, hypertension and high blood cholesterol have risen to alarming levels. Childhood obesity has also become another major cause of concern among policy makers and health care professionals. At the same time, nutrition problems associated with undernutrition exist among specific segments of the population. Micronutrient deficiencies are significant problems afflicting young children and women of reproductive age.
In order to combat the prevalence of the double burden of malnutrition and huge economic burden of NCDs in the country, a multi-dimensional approach has been outlined in the National Plan of Action for Nutrition of Malaysia (NPANM) III (2016 – 2025). It is vital that various stakeholders, from government ministries and agencies, private sectors, academic institutions to professional bodies and nongovernmental organisations, incorporate nutrition strategies into their respective platform to achieve the objectives of NPANM III.
The 33rd NSM Annual Scientific Conference provides a platform for all stakeholders to share research and intervention activities that contribute towards the implementation of NPANM III and address the double burden of malnutrition. It is imperative that various stakeholders understand their important roles in tackling the nutrition issues in the country and act now to take necessary measures. Preventive healthcare measures should be emphasised and investing in nutrition now is crucial to ensure a healthy generation of Malaysians in the future.