The main causes of death and morbidity in the country for the past 3 decades have been diet-related non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as heart disease, diabetes and cancers. These lifestyle-related diseases are estimated to account for almost three-quarters of total deaths in the country. There is ample evidence that the pervasiveness of NCDs and the associated risk factors (e.g. overweight and obesity, high blood glucose, hypertension and high blood cholesterol) have turned these into major health problems affecting large proportions of adults and children as well.
Various policies and action plans have been developed to address the nutritional problems in the country, including NPANM III (2016-2025), the National Strategic Plan for Non-Communicable Diseases (NSP-NCD) (2016-2025) and the Obesity Task Force proposed policy options. The 34th NSM Annual Scientific Conference provides a platform for all stakeholders to share research and intervention activities that may contribute towards the tackling of NCDs across the lifespan, from pre-conception, pregnancy, infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood to senior age.
This conference serves to reiterate that disease prevention through healthy nutrition is the way forward for the alleviation of the disease burden in the country and to ensure a healthy generation of Malaysians in the future. The only choice we have is to systematically implement the identified strategies and action plans.