‘Home eating habits to blame’

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

By Elvina Fernandez
elvina@nst.com.my

KUALA LUMPUR:The National Union of the Teaching Profession yesterday urged the government to conduct a study on what schoolchildren eat at home to identify the cause of obesity.

Its president, Hashim Adnan, said children’s eating habits outside school were the main contributor to obesity.

“It is sad to hear that nasi lemak will be sold only twice a week as it is not the cause of obesity among schoolchildren, but, rather, what they eat outside school.”
Hashim said the new canteen food guidelines would badly affect canteen operators as nasi lemak was their main food item.

“The government should carry out a study at the beginning of the next school term and not now.”

He added that canteen operators had an agreement with schools on food items to be sold to cover their rental and make a little profit.
“If the ministry bans most of the food items, what will canteen operators sell to students?”

Malaysian Dietitians Association president Tan Yoke Hwa said the ministry should train canteen operators to prepare nasi lemak healthily instead of restricting its availability.

“Canteen operators should be taught to cook the food items with less oil, salt and santan.”
Tan added that the authorities should make sure the operators adhered to the guidelines.

However, she praised the move to ban fast food such as burgers, sau-sages and nuggets. “Having (fast food) every day in canteens will tempt students to eat it more often.”

Programme to tackle student obesity to be introduced soon

Tuesday April 26, 2011

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2011/4/26/nation/20110426195358&sec=nation

KUALA LUMPUR: The Government will introduce a special programme soon to address the problem of obesity among students, Education director-general Datuk Abd Ghafar Mahmud said Tuesday.

He said the initiative would be carried out by the Education and Health Ministries.

“We will study the proposal and submit it to the Health Ministry on how to produce the best programme, especially on a healthy diet for students,” he told reporters here after the 2010 SPM Excellent Award presentation.

He said the guidelines on healthy food at schools would be updated and then handed to the Health Ministry for enforcement.

Meanwhile, Cheras Education Foundation chairman Datuk Wira Syed Ali Alhabshee said a healthy diet could produce students who excel in their studies.

“The ministry can draw up the guidelines on diet, but it all depends on the students themselves,” he said, adding that nasi lemak was not the main cause of obesity among students. – Bernama

6 NGO mahu syarat jual nasi lemak ditarik

Selasa , 26 April 2011

http://www.bharian.com.my/bharian/articles/16NGOmahusyaratjualnasilemakditarik/Article

Oleh Lum Chee Hong
lumch@bharian.com.my

Dakwaan punca pelajar obesiti tak tepat, rugi peniaga

KUALA LUMPUR: Persatuan Pengguna Islam Malaysia (PPIM) bersama 15 badan bukan kerajaan (NGO) semalam, mendesak Kementerian Kesihatan menarik semula keputusan menetapkan jualan nasi lemak dilakukan secara giliran di sekolah.

Difahamkan, nasi lemak hanya boleh dijual dua kali seminggu mengikut garis panduan ditetapkan kementerian.

Antara NGO lain turut menyatakan rasa tidak puas hati itu termasuk Majlis Permuafakatan Ayahanda SeMalaysia (PERMAS), Pertubuhan Pemikir Profesional Melayu Malaysia, Perpaduan Ummah Teras Negara (PUTRA), Gabungan Pelajar Melayu Semenanjung (GPMS) dan Seni Bela Diri Vovinam.

Penasihat PPIM, Tunku Azwil Tunku Abdul Razak, berkata mereka berasa keputusan larangan penjualan itu dibuat secara tergesa-gesa, manakala kesannya tidak dikaji melalui kaedah saintifik.

Katanya, susulan larangan berkenaan dan kesan kononnya menyebabkan obesiti di kalangan rakyat, sudah mengakibatkan kerugian di kalangan pengusaha kantin serta peniaga kecil Melayu yang menjalankan perniagaan terbabit.

“Sehubungan itu, PPIM, PERMAS dan gabungan NGO Melayu lain mendesak kementerian mengkaji semula larangan ini berikutan dakwaan berkenaan tidak tepat, menyeluruh serta mempunyai agenda tersembunyi yang boleh menyekat pertumbuhan ekonomi orang Melayu.
“Kami berpendapat pelbagai langkah boleh diambil kementerian seperti menyekat penjualan makanan ringan, air berkarbonat, makanan sejuk beku yang masih berleluasa dijual di kantin dan luar sekolah.

“Selain itu, penekanan berhubung pengajaran pemakanan seimbang dan gaya hidup sihat harus ditekankan kerana pelajar masa kini kurang beriadah, sebaliknya lebih gemar melayari internet menggunakan i-Pad, i-Phone dan laman sosial Facebook, ” katanya pada sidang media di sini.

Hadir sama, Penasihat PERMAS, Syed Husin Al-Shahab, Presiden Pertubuhan Pemikir Profesional Melayu Malaysia, Kol Prof Datuk Dr Kamarudin Kachar, Timbalan Presiden Seni Bela Diri Vovinam, Datuk Faizal Musa, Presiden GPMS, Jais Abdul Karim dan wakil PUTRA, Hashnoel Murshim Hashim.

Pada sidang media itu, Tunku Azwil turut melontarkan tujuh soalan kepada kementerian untuk dinilai iaitu jika Malaysia berada di tangga keenam paling ramai menghadapi obesiti, apakah penduduk lima negara lain menjadikan nasi lemak makanan harian sehingga mempunyai masalah kegemukan.

Beliau turut mempersoalkan adakah burger, roti canai, mi, kuey teow, bihun dan makanan ringan yang bahan pelunturnya bahaya kepada pemakanan lebih baik daripada nasi lemak, selain sama ada Kementerian Kesihatan tidak sensitif bahawa nasi lemak satu daripada ikon makanan negara sebelum mengeluarkan kenyataan.

Sementara itu, Jais berkata, pihaknya tidak bersetuju cadangan kementerian berhubung punca obesiti, sebaliknya ia disebabkan pengambilan makanan barat seperti burger, nuget dan mee.

“Nasi lemak adalah makanan paling murah dan mampu dibeli pelajar dan kenapa ia dijadikan sasaran,” katanya.

Bagi Dr Kamarudin, nasi lemak mengandungi karbohidrat yang boleh memberi tenaga untuk bergerak atau bekerja

‘Saya pun dibesarkan oleh nasi lemak’

26 April 2011, Selasa

http://www.utusan.com.my/utusan/info.asp?y=2011&dt=0426&pub=Utusan_Malaysia&sec=Forum&pg=fo_02.htm

SAYA menyokong pandangan Bisik-Bisik Mingguan oleh Awang Selamat dalam Mingguan Malaysia, bertarikh 24 April 2011 yang tidak bersetuju Kementerian Kesihatan hendak mengehadkan pengambilan nasi lemak di kalangan pelajar di sekolah-sekolah.

Punca obesiti bukannya dari nasi lemak sahaja. Pelajar juga hanya mempunyai masa terhad ketika makan di sekolah dan hanya makan ketika waktu rehat dengan kewangan yang terhad.

Di mana asasnya Kementerian Kesihatan bertindak sedemikian?

Saya berpengalaman di bidang pelajaran lebih 30 tahun dan saya tidak nampak tindakan Kementerian Kesihatan ini berbaloi!

Saya rasa pelajar akan lebih lapar dan ini akan memudarat kepada mereka kerana mempunyai masa yang lama di sekolah jika makanan yang mereka makan akan dihadkan.

Saya dibesarkan oleh nasi lemak… tiada masalah pun!

Kementerian Kesihatan harus mendapat pandangan dari warga pendidik dan Kementerian Pelajaran dalam hal ini.

OTHMAN AHMAD (Bekas Nazir Sekolah) Kota Kinabalu

15 jenis makanan dan minuman dilarang jual

26 April 2011, Selasa

http://www.utusan.com.my/utusan/info.asp?y=2011&dt=0426&pub=Utusan_Malaysia&sec=Dalam_Negeri&pg=dn_33.htm

KUALA LUMPUR 25 April – Kementerian Kesihatan menyenaraikan 15 jenis makanan dan minuman yang tidak berkhasiat dan akan dilarang penjualannya di kantin sekolah seluruh negara.

Timbalan Menteri Kesihatan, Datuk Rosnah Abdul Rashid Shirlin berkata, senarai cadangan tersebut telah pun dikemukakan oleh Bahagian Keselamatan dan Kualiti Makanan (BKKM) kementerian tersebut kepada Kabinet pada 4 April lalu dan keputusan muktamad akan diketahui bulan depan.

Menurut beliau, antara menu yang dilarang termasuk mi segera; gula-gula dan coklat; makanan yang diproses seperti burger, hotdog dan nugget; makanan yang dijeruk sama ada basah atau kering; teh dan kopi serta minuman berperisa kecuali susu berperisa.

“Garis panduan baru yang dicadangkan juga mengemukakan senarai 60 jenis menu yang boleh dijual kepada para pelajar tetapi dengan kuantiti yang dikawal.

“Ini termasuk mencadangkan penjualan nasi lemak dan nasi goreng secara berjadual iaitu sebanyak dua kali seminggu selain lontong, nasi pulut dan mi kari (sekali seminggu) selain beberapa menu seperti mi, bihun dan kuetiau sup yang boleh dijual setiap hari,” katanya.

Beliau berkata demikian pada sidang akhbar selepas merasmikan Persidangan Pertama Pegawai-Pegawai Sains Kementerian Kesihatan di sini hari ini.

Persidangan julung kali diadakan itu dihadiri 250 peserta terdiri daripada kalangan para pegawai sains kementerian, universiti dan pihak swasta.

Rosnah berkata, pihaknya berharap para pengusaha kantin akan memberi sokongan kepada garis panduan pemakanan tersebut apabila diluluskan kelak bagi membantu mengatasi masalah obesiti di kalangan pelajar sekolah dewasa ini.

Malah bagi memantau penyediaan dan kebersihan makanan di kantin-kantin sekolah, pihaknya akan menghantar pegawai kesihatan dan inspektor kesihatan untuk melakukan lawatan secara mengejut pada setiap masa.

“Kementerian juga bercadang untuk bekerjasama dengan pihak berkuasa tempatan (PBT) dalam mengeluarkan garis panduan bagi para peniaga yang menjual makanan tidak berkhasiat di luar premis sekolah,” katanya.

Dalam perkembangan lain, Rosnah berkata, masih terdapat beberapa kekangan yang menyebabkan profesion saintis tidak diisi di negara ini termasuk syarat-syarat ketat yang dikenakan kepada para siswazah yang ingin melanjutkan pengajian ke peringkat lebih tinggi.

Menurut beliau, setakat September tahun lepas, biarpun terdapat 1,160 pegawai sains di Kementerian Kesihatan namun masih ada 303 kekosongan yang perlu diisi bagi memantapkan perkhidmatan kesihatan di negara ini.

Terdahulu dalam ucapannya, Rosnah berkata, kerajaan menyediakan insentif sebanyak RM15,500 kepada para penyelidik yang berjaya menghasilkan paten selain mendapat royalti sebanyak 80 peratus daripada hasil pengkomersialan penyelidikan dan pembangunan (R&D).

Sehubungan itu, katanya, para saintis kementerian tersebut digalak untuk berganding tenaga bagi menjayakan inovasi-inovasi baru serta melahirkan paten-paten canggih berkaitan perubatan dan kesihatan.

Do housework and keep fit

Sunday April 24, 2011

http://thestar.com.my/education/story.asp?file=/2011/4/24/education/8505864&sec=education

I REFER to your report “
Concern over obese kids”, (StarEducation, April 17). While not discounting the usefulness of exercise, sports, and other co-curricular activities, I suggest the Education Ministry consider house work and other domestic chores as a measure to fend off obesity among children.

The large number of foreign workers in the country only proves that Malaysians shy away from some jobs.

A husband is supposed to help the wife in the home when he’s done with his job at the workplace, and children should help their parents with the household chores when they are back from school.

Children should be taught to clean their rooms, wash their shoes and dishes and perhaps iron their clothes, prepare simple meals and take up gardening.

If children were taught to perform simple chores at home from young, they would come to greatly appreciate the value of both work and money.

Instead, parents prefer to send their children for tuition after school, or let them play computer games, or simply binge on food from the refrigerator.

At the same time, they employ maids even when some can can ill afford to pay them. This only makes children dislike and shun work even more. Household chores must be done and cannot be ignored for long periods.

Human beings need to work as it is only with an income that one is able to survive.

A number of people cringe at the mention of the word “communism”. Yet, it must be observed that communism is a system that provides people with routine and work, which in turn gives the person a feeling of purpose and security.

Freedom is essential, but freedom without work will soon lead an individual to despair and madness.

While a child’s academic progress is important, it should not be at the expense of work. This is not only socially undesirable, but also morally wrong.

Children are supposed to be an “investment” to parents and not a burden as many have become now. Parents who have dedicated a considerable part of their lives in raising their children, expect their children to take care of them and provide for them in their old age should the need arise.

Instead, we hear of children who prefer to live away from their parents if they are to find a job, and some who abandon their parents. To a large extent, the fascination with school and study is unexplainable.

China has recently overtaken the United States as the world’s largest economy, a fact which clearly proves that its people work hard.

I would certainly never discount the paramount importance of receiving a good education, but the future of a healthy and prosperous society is based on one’s attitude towards work and not just academic quaifications.

M.D.

Via e-mail

Keeping track

Sunday April 24, 2011

http://thestar.com.my/education/story.asp?file=/2011/4/24/education/8531789&sec=education

By KAREN CHAPMAN, TAN EE LOO, RICHARD LIM, PRIYA KULASAGARAN, AMINUDDIN MOHSIN and ALLISON LAI
educate@thestar.com.my

Experts will be roped in to advise students on the importance of eating right and staying fit.

THE Health and Education Ministries will work together to combat obesity and malnutrition in schools.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said such efforts would come with nutritionists and dietitians advising students on healthy eating habits. They will also offer tips on keeping fit.

“The move is similar to earlier oral hygiene endeavours where dentists and nurses visited schools to instruct students on the proper way to brush their teeth and floss,” he said when launching the Having Fun with Nutrition Roadshow in Primary Schools at Kompleks Sekolah Wawasan USJ 15 last Thursday.

Liow playing an interactive game with Sekolah Wawasan USJ 15 pupils after the launch while Health Ministry deputy director-general (public health) Dr Lokman Hakim Sulaiman (right) looks on.

Liow said that the situation was still “under control” as a significant number of overweight students were not yet obese.

He added that both the Education and Health Ministries would be working aggressively to keep things from getting worse.

On Sunday, Liow announced that the body mass index (BMI) of students would be listed on their report cards with immediate effect while unhealthy food and drinks would be banned from school canteens.

Education director-general Datuk Abd Ghafar Mahmud said it would not be a problem for schools to list students’ BMI on their report cards.

“Schools already carry out the National Physical Agility Standard (Segak) which tests students’ physical fitness,” he told StarEducation.

Segak presently covers students from Years Four to Six and from Forms One to Five, and will be extended to include those in Years One to Three as well.

Abd Ghafar said an announcement on the extension to include pupils in lower primary schools would be sent to schools soon.

Under Segak which was introduced in 2008, students’ fitness levels are measured through a cardiovascular test, two types of push-ups, sit-ups and stretching exercises.

“Data from these tests as well their BMI is recorded and is then listed in the Students Information System so it will not be a problem for the information to be transferred to their report cards,” he said.

Abd Ghafar explained that Segak is conducted during physical education classes or after school, and carried out twice a year in March and August.

Healthy options

Liow said his ministry was working together with the Education Ministry to come out with an updated set of guidelines for canteen operators in an effort to promote healthy eating habits.

“We will announce the guidelines in detail with the Education Ministry soon after we finalise the matter,” he said.

He said there are many new kinds of processed food and vending machines are becoming more popular at schools.

“The guidelines must be stringent to ensure that only healthy food and drinks are sold in schools,” he said.

Liow said that a draft guideline was completed and the Education Ministry’s endorsement was the final step before it could be implemented.

When pressed for a more definite timeline of implementation, the minister said that the guideline would be signed “as soon as possible” and an announcement could come as early as next month.

A study done by the Health Ministry in 2006 showed 10.3% of children (aged between seven to 13) were underweight; 6.3% were overweight or had obesity problems while 14.6% had stunted growth.

Another study by Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) showed an increase in obesity amongst primary school children (six to 12) within a six-year time frame.

Abd Ghafar says it will not be a problem for schools to list students’ BMI on their report cards.

In 2001, 9.7% of students were obese and that figure rose to 13.7% in 2007. The study concluded that the increasing prevalence of obesity was attributed to unhealthy eating habits and a lack of physical activity.

The study also showed that 76% of school-going children did not live a healthy lifestyle as they spent a significant amount of time in front of televisions and computer monitors.

The UKM study also showed that around 70% of students had breakfast everyday while 10% skipped it on a regular basis.

The study also reflected the students’ top picks in the food department with nasi lemak, mee goreng and nasi ayam as the most popular local dishes while fast food favourites included burgers, fried chicken and pizza.

National Union of the Teaching Profession secretary-general Lok Yim Pheng welcomed the Health Ministry’s initiative in promoting healthy eating among children.

“Obesity is not caused solely by the food being sold at school canteens. How the child eats at home may also have also contributed to the health problem,” she said.

Parent Chua Hooi Dean said the inclusion of BMI in report cards would only help if it would come with useful pointers for parents to interpret the data and decide on the next course of actions should there be any problems.

“I believe some teachers are already giving advice to students on the importance of healthy living,” she said.

Form Five student Farah Syahirah Noor Ariffin, who only brings her own food from home described the Health Ministry’s decision as a good move towards a healthier nation in the long run.

“I think students have to be careful and aware of what they are putting into their mouth,” said the 17-year-old from Tengkera, Malacca.

Saripah Ramle, 17, from Jalan Pokok Mangga (in Malacca) said she did not think the new ruling affected her at all as she only occasionally bought bread and water from her school canteen.

“I think this will help remind students to be more health conscious too,” she said.

Eight year old Shoba said she would often bring food from home and at times buy snacks from the canteen.

“I also buy ice cream a few times a week outside the school gates,” she added.

Abdul Taib, 11, said he ate at the canteen every day adding that he usually had fried rice or noodles followed by chips or ice cream after school.

Muhd Luqman, 11, said he usually had two sausages for breakfast and another two during recess which his mother would prepare for him.

“For dinner, I have roti canai and eggs but I rarely have any desserts,” shared the Year Five pupil who loves playing computer games and Playstation after school.

Liow said the canteen guidelines would detail the “frequency” of the dishes that were sold at each canteen.

“For example, we will determine how many times nasi lemak and mee goreng can be sold each week at any one canteen,” he said.

The minister added that the new guidelines would also affect traders and hawkers outside the school compound.

“We have discussed with the Housing and Local Government Ministry and food sold outside the school will fall under the guidelines.

“Hawkers can sell their food but it must be healthy,” he said.

Liow said the guidelines contained around 70 general entries of food and drink and each entry was divided further into more sub categories.

For example, a classification of nasi berlauk (mixed rice) would be divided to factor in the side dishes served with it.

Exercise can help

Monday April 25, 2011

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2011/4/25/focus/8546322&sec=focus

OBESITY among children and adolescents have become a worldwide health problem.

This was once thought to be only a concern for the developed countries as being overweight or obese was often associated with wealth.

The prevalence of this health concern has significantly increased within the last 20 to 30 years in all developed countries.

In the US, 16.1% of adolescents aged 12 to19 are overweight.

Unfortunately, developing countries, Malaysia included, have not been spared. The Third National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS III) reported that 5.4% of our children are overweight and urban areas have higher prevalence of overweight children at 6.3% compared to rural areas with 4.0%.

Obesity is caused by an imbalance between energy input and output, usually excessive energy intake coupled with little energy output. In other words, too much food, too little exercise.

Overweight and obesity problems are the result of complex interaction between unhealthy diets, physical inactivity, and also socio-economic, environmental, genetic and policy factors.

Childhood obesity should not be taken lightly as it carries both short and long-term health consequences.

An obese child is more likely to have low self-esteem and behavioural problems.

Obesity in children also predisposes the child to the risk of non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension and diabetes melitus in adulthood.

Unhealthy canteen food was recently blamed for the rise in childhood obesity. It is unfair to blame canteen food solely. While it is true that these foods are unhealthy, we must also look at what the children eat outside the school.

Healthy eating starts from home. In most households, both parents are working fulltime and lack the time to prepare home-cooked meals for their family.

To save time, most families tend to eat out or just tapau from outside. Such food is known to have more calories, sodium and cholesterol than home-cooked food.

We must also remember that food is not the only culprit in causing obesity. If we eat a lot but are physically active, we can keep obesity at bay.

Nowadays, there are increased physical inactivity and sedentary lifestyles. Children need to be more physically active. In the past decades, our education system has not changed much.

It is still exam oriented and much emphasis is on academic achievements.

While most schools have PE lessons, some of the activities do not interest the students. Maybe the school or teacher can make PE lessons more fun and interesting like having basketball or football for boys and dance or aerobics for girls.

There should be more frequent PE lessons because it not only keeps students healthy and alert for their lessons but also keeps obesity at bay.

CYNTHIA JETAN,
Serdang, Selangor.

Sedarkan ibu bapa soal pemakanan sihat anak

Isnin , 25 April 2011

http://www.bharian.com.my/bharian/articles/Sedarkanibubapasoalpemakanansihatanak/Article

GARIS Panduan Pemakanan Sihat di sekolah yang dilaksanakan mulai bulan depan untuk mencegah obesiti dan diabetes amat dialu-alukan.

Sungguhpun sekarang sudah ada Panduan Pengurusan Kantin Sekolah, garis pandauan terbaru itu dihasilkan dengan kerjasama Kementerian Kesihatan dan Kementerian Pelajaran bertujuan mengemaskinikannya mengikut keperluan dan gaya hidup semasa.

Misalnya, larangan jualan minuman berkarbonat dan makanan mengandungi gula berlebihan di kantin sekolah.

Sungguhpun tiada larangan sedemikian di pasaran terbuka, elok jika pada label produk berkenaan disebut dengan jelas amaran mengenai kesannya dari segi kesihatan.

Langkah ini dapat mewujudkan satu bentuk penyelarasan dan pihak sekolah tidaklah bersendirian dalam mendidik murid mengenai amalan makanan berkhasiat.

Begitu juga mengenai jadual menu makanan, misalnya nasi lemak, mi goreng, nasi ayam dan mi sup ditetapkan giliran hari jualannya. Apakah kaitan menu makanan dengan pemakanan sihat?

Biasanya murid gemuk kerana terlebih makan. Apakah langkah praktikal untuk guru memastikan setiap murid tidak makan berlebihan di kantin?
Oleh itu, selain memastikan pihak kantin mematuhi sepenuhnya garis panduan itu, langkah paling berkesan ialah dengan mewujudkan kesedaran agar murid sentiasa mengamalkan pemakanan sihat. Pihak Kementerian Kesihatan juga perlu membuat pemeriksaan berkala ke sekolah untuk memantau tahap kesihatan pelajar.

Purata pelajar berada di sekolah pada setiap hari persekolahan hanya lapan jam, dan masa rehat di kantin antara 20 hingga 30 minit saja. Masa yang begitu panjang termasuk hujung minggu dan cuti sekolah, murid berada di luar sekolah.

Sudah pasti tabiat pemakanan kanak-kanak begitu banyak dipengaruhi oleh faktor keluarga dan persekitarannya.

Oleh itu elok maklumat berkaitan dalam garis panduan berkenaan didedahkan kepada ibu bapa untuk meningkatkan kesedaran dalam membantu pihak sekolah mendidik dan melahirkan pelajar yang mengamalkan budaya pemakanan sihat.

ZIN MARKAM,
Pontian, Johor

Kanak-kanak sekarang kurang aktiviti fizikal

25 April 2011, Isnin

http://www.utusan.com.my/utusan/info.asp?y=2011&dt=0425&pub=Utusan_Malaysia&sec=Forum&pg=fo_03.htm

MASALAH obesiti di kalangan murid sekolah rendah yang dilihat membimbangkan tidak seharusnya dilihat dari perspektif pemakanan semata-mata.

Ketika saya masih bersekolah pada tahun 80an, nasi lemak, mi kari dan makanan rapu telah wujud di sekolah-sekolah. Malah mesin vending air berkabonat berharga 50 sen secawan turut tersedia.

Guru besar mengingatkan murid-murid supaya jangan membeli makanan rapu yang dijual oleh penjaja di luar pagar sekolah hanya berdasarkan fakta bahawa ia tidak berkhasiat. Pada zaman itu, fakta nutrisi juga belum diwajibkan pada paket-paket makanan rapu.

Menakjubkan apabila dalam 40 murid dalam sesebuah kelas ketika itu, hanya dua atau tiga dikira ‘gemuk’.

Punca masalah obesiti kanak-kanak hari ini hakikatnya banyak berpunca dari kekurangan aktiviti fizikal kanak-kanak itu sendiri.

Jika dilihat pada fenomena ini, anak-anak di bandarlah yang berkemungkinan hidup sebagai orang gemuk di masa depan.

Jika di kampung-kampung, mereka ini mungkin masih berpeluang bermain di petang hari di kawasan lapang. Tetapi hakikatnya trend menghadap TV turut tersebar ke merata ceruk negara.

Malah trend menghadap komputer untuk berinternet dan bermain permainan turut melanda bandar-bandar dan kampung-kampung.

Di bandar-bandar, terutamanya di rumah-rumah pangsa, tempat untuk kanak-kanak peringkat sekolah rendah untuk bermain dan berlari bagaikan tiada.

Dahulu, di taman perumahan saya, kami mampu mewujudkan beberapa pasukan bola sepak berdasarkan kelompok geng dan konsisten bermain bola sepak setiap petang.

Hari ini, mana perginya kanak-kanak seperti kami dahulu di waktu petang atau di waktu pagi di hari cuti?

Sama ada prasarana atau kawasan lapang untuk mereka beriadah tidak ada, mereka juga mungkin lebih cenderung bermain ‘play station’, menonton DVD dan paling merunsingkan ibu bapa, aktiviti anak-anak mereka yang bertandang berjam-jam di kafe-kafe siber dalam hiruk pikuk yang tertutup kerana ketagihan permainan komputer.

Kafe-kafe siber menjadi ‘padang permainan’ kanak-kanak hari ini untuk bertemu dan beradu kehandalan menekan papan kekunci dan tetikus.

Maka tidak adil jika hanya corak pemakanan disalahkan kerana hakikatnya kanak-kanak sekolah rendah hari ini, hidup mereka jarang dibasahi peluh setiap petang seperti kanak-kanak 20 tahun lalu.

SYAMSYUL FADZLI MATPutrajaya