Nutrition Transition in Malaysia: Addressing the Hunger-Obesity Paradox

Urbanization, Consumption and Culture Seminar Series

About the Seminar

Health and epidemiologic transitions have paved the way for Malaysia’s nutrition transition. In the early part of the twentieth century, the major health problems faced by Malaysia and most other countries in the world were infectious diseases and vitamin deficiency diseases such as beriberi, scurvy and rickets. Scientific advancements virtually eliminated these diseases in a very short period. Rapid economic growth has pushed Malaysia into the middle-income group, bringing affluence and sedentary living to a sizable section of the population. Non-communicable diseases and obesity have come to dominate the health scene in the country. At the same time, a section of the population still lacks sufficient food and micronutrients. A new phenomenon has thus emerged: the double burden of malnutrition. How might this phenomenon be better tackled? Schools represent an important entry point for better nutrition. School feeding programs can form an effective two-prong strategy to address the double burden of malnutrition through establishing healthy sustainable lifestyles and eating habits.

About the Speaker

Wan Manan is currently a Visiting Professor in Alma Ata University, Yogyakarta, Indonesia. He was a Professor of Nutrition & Public Health in the School of Health Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia (1984-2016). In 2017 he was a Visiting Research Scholar at CSEAS, Kyoto University and in 2017-2018 a Senior Visiting Fellow at Khazanah Research Institute, Kuala Lumpur. He completed his doctorate in Nutrition and Public Health in 1984 from Columbia University, New York. His research interests span human nutrition, obesity, public health, quality of life and issues confronting higher education. Wan Manan previously headed and completed three major research projects on Physical Activity and Sustainable Health: Nutritional Status, Community Wellbeing and Environmental Enhancement, and My Body is Fit and Fabulous (MyBFF) – An Intervention Project to Combat Obesity at Work Place in Malaysia. He is also the country coordinator (Malaysia) for the International Physical Activity and Environment Network (IPEN) inter-country study on physical activity among adults and adolescents. Recently, he and his co-authors Jomo KS and Tan Zhai Gen published a monograph entitled Addressing Malnutrition in Malaysia.



For registration, please click here. Registration closes on 31 October 2019.


Nov 04 2019


3:00 pm - 4:30 pm


ISEAS Seminar Room 2