Many Malaysians have, no doubt, been affected by the almost one year-long COVID-19 lockdown.
There are families out there who are struggling to make ends meet. And not to mention, thousands of Malaysians have lost their jobs.
But there is one silver lining that came out of being locked up at home: Malaysians are becoming healthier.
Malaysians are finally working out more
A recent survey has found that more Malaysians have become healthier during the various movemement control orders (MCOs).
In research outfit Ipsos
’ study on diet and health
during the pandemic, it was found that Malaysians had been practicing a relatively healthy lifestyle.
In fact, a majority of those who were surveyed by Ipsos
revealed that they have lost weight!
According to the survey, 36 per cent
of Malaysian respondents claimed that they have shed some kgs, while only 19 per cent had gained weight by 4.8kg on average.
As comparison, only 20 per cent of respondents from other countries have lost weight. Almost 31 per cent had reported a weight gain by an average of 6.1kg.
Yay to us!
So, what have we been doing differently?
Well, according to the survey, Malaysians have been cutting down a lot on sugar consumption, especially sugary drinks, and they've been exercising more.
Speaking of exercising more, the survey also revealed that 36 per cent of those polled have established new routines and have increased their level of exercise, and only 21 per cent have admitted to reducing their exercise load.
All in all, we think it's still a pretty big win for us Malaysians.
A total of 22,008 adults aged 16 to 74 from 30 countries took part in the online interviews for the survey between 23 October and 6 November last year.
Getting our health back on track
The numbers may look small and insignificant, but considering the overall health statistics of Malaysians, it is definitely a good first step.
According to a study by the World Population Review 2019, Malaysia tops the list in Southeast Asia when it comes to the highest prevalence of obesity among adults at 15.6 per cent, followed by Brunei (14.1 per cent) and Thailand (10.0 per cent).
On top of that, the National Health and Morbidity Survey 2019 revealed that 50.1 per cent of Malaysians were either overweight or obese.
Looking at the worrying numbers, it's good news that Malaysians are finally starting to take care of their health.
We do hope that those who participated in the Ipsos
survey would continue to exercise after the lockdown is over.