Brunei ranked most obese country in ASEAN

National 1 minute, 52 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

BRUNEI is the highest-ranked country for obesity prevalence in adults among ASEAN countries, according to the Global Nutrition Report 2016.

The annual independent report ranked Brunei 111th most obese country out of the 190 countries surveyed while the next ranked ASEAN country was neighbouring Malaysia in 128th place.

This was followed by Thailand in 145th place, Singapore in 163rd place and Indonesia in 165th place.

Coincidentally, according to the International Monetary Fund, those five countries also have the top five highest gross domestic product per capita among all the ASEAN countries.

The report, which quoted 2015 figures from the World Health Organization (WHO), put obesity prevalence among Bruneian adults at 18.1 per cent.

In a report last month, the Minister of Health Yang Berhormat Dato Paduka Dr Hj Zulkarnain Hj Hanafi said in his address to the recent WHO Assembly held in Switzerland that obesity prevalence among Bruneian adults was close to 30 per cent.

During that same address in Switzerland, the minister said that the government is currently aiming to change societal behaviours and lifestyles to combat the rise of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and obesity.

The 2016 Global Nutrition Report showed that Southeast Asia was one of the regions least prone to obesity, with seven ASEAN countries and Timor-Leste ranking among the top 30 least obese countries, five of those nations in the top 10 alone.

In the same report, Brunei again led the tables amongst ASEAN countries for overweight prevalence among adults in 119th place with 47 per cent prevalence.

This was followed by Malaysia in 128th place, Singapore in 139th place, Thailand in 147th place and Indonesia in 165th place.

Timor-Leste topped both tables as both the least obese country at 2.2 per cent prevalence and the least overweight country at 14.5 per cent prevalence.

The 2016 Global Nutrition Report, titled ‘From Promise to Impact: Ending Malnutrition By 2030’ focused on all the different forms of malnutrition in the world including stunted and wasted growth among children, adult and children obesity, overweight adult and children, micronutrient deficiency and non-communicable diseases.

The report further estimates that malnutrition is costing Asian and African countries up to 11 per cent of their gross domestic product each year when preventing malnutrition would have delivered a US$16 return for every dollar spent.

The Brunei Times