Skip to comments.Amid ‘Fattest Asian Country’ Claim, Malaysian Nutritionists Sponsored by Food Giants
Posted on 12/23/2017 1:36:42 PM PST by nickcarraway
In Malaysia where nearly half the adult population are overweight or obese, and dubbed the fattest country in Asia nutritionists are being financially supported by major food companies, New York Times (NYT) reported today.
The report pointed at the Nutrition Society of Malaysia, whose research on local diets and lifestyle habits was not only financed, but also reviewed by Nestlé, the worlds largest food company whose malted chocolate beverage Milo is popular with consumers here.
It was also revealed that the work of the society headed by the countrys leading nutrition expert Dr Tee E Siong, 70, has been funded by among others Kelloggs, PepsiCo and Tate & Lyle, one of the worlds biggest makers of high-fructose corn syrup.
The society has reportedly received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the industry, including at least US$188,000 (RM767,000) from Nestlé and Cereal Partners Worldwide.
It has also received US$10,000 (RM40,000) from Ajinomoto that manufactures artificial sweetener and monosodium glutamate (MSG) flavour enhancers, and at least US$40,000 (RM163,000) from baby products company Philips Avent.
Hes a God in the region, Barry Popkin, a professor of nutrition at the University of North Carolina, was quoted commenting about Tee.
But at the same time, hes very linked to industry, Popkin added, saying that evidence of what is health for people gets obscured, gets confounded when corporate money influences nutrition science.
Tee obtained his doctorate in food science from the Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, and in 2002 started a consulting business, TES NutriHealth, with small food companies as its clients.
Meanwhile, he sits on seven government committees, including as the chairman of the committee on nutrition and health claims until 2011.
He had also created a regional public health nutrition network, the SEA-PHN in 2014, which receives much of its funding from food companies such as Danone, Nestlé, and PepsiCo.
NYT also reported that Nestlé reads the papers in Tees Malaysian research before they get published, as part of a written agreement, with company claiming it was done to ensure that the methodology was scientifically correct.
On the other hand, Tees nutrition society had promoted Nestlés sugar-laden Koko Krunch and Cookie Crisp cereals, and Nestlé Healthy Kids, a 2014 programme promoting breakfast and exercise in 77 schools.
In defence, Tee said the real problem is not with the food companies, but what Malaysians eat and their lifestyle.
We have to stop blaming the multinationals Malaysians are always eating. They dont exercise. But you dont need to go the gym. You need to walk outside. Its free. Get off your chair and move! he was quoted saying.
When questioned, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said it is not the governments job to be a watchdog over big food companies.
Its more cooperation, he was quoted saying.
No pictures, please.
And please, no “Milo” jokes.
“Wo Fat” jokes are acceptable.
I thought the Thais were the fattest. At least runners-up. Lots of starch and sugar in the diet these days.
True. But incomplete. As a kid, I was raised with images of children starving in China. The Iron Rice Bowl, guaranteed employment and cradle-to-grave security of the communists brought the food problem under control. Capitalism had little to do with that.
Speaking of Health Ministers, say hello to Belgium's.
Man the harpoons!
The ethnic Malays (as opposed to the Chinese-Malay) have a significantly different body type. They are naturally heavier than the Chinese and I suspect that weight control is much more difficult for them.
I was referring to the zaftig Belgian woman.
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