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Malaysia – Annual Report

“Nutrition Society of Malaysia (NSM)”

Nutrition Society of Malaysia
c/o Division  of Human Nutrition
Institute for Medical Research
Jalan Pahang
50588 Kuala Lumpur

Tel :  603-7728 7287 / 4040 5686
Fax : 603-2694 3575 / 7728 7426
Email :

List of Council members and their institutions

Name (Position)  Affiliation
 Dr Tee E Siong
TES NutriHealth Strategic Consultancy
46 Jalan SS22/32
47400 Petaling Jaya
Selangor D.E.
 Prof Dr Mohd Ismail Noor
(Vice President)
Department of Nutrition & Dietetics
Faculty of Allied Health Sciences
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
50300 Kuala Lumpur
 Assoc Prof Dr Poh
Bee Koon
(Hon Secretary)
Department of Nutrition & Dietetics
Faculty of Allied Health Sciences
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
50300 Kuala Lumpur
 Assoc Prof Dr Zaitun Yassin
(Hon Treasurer)
 Department of Nutrition & Health Sciences
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Universiti Putra Malaysia
43400 UPM Serdang
Selangor D.E.
 Dr Amin Ismail
(Asst Hon Secretary)
Department of Nutrition & Health Sciences
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Universiti Putra Malaysia
43400 UPM Serdang
Selangor D.E.
 Dr Tony Ng Kock Wai
(Council Member)
CVD Research Unit
Cardiovascular, Diabetes and Nutrition Research Centre
Institute for Medical Research
Jalan Pahang
50588 Kuala Lumpur
 Dr Mohd Nasir Mohd Taib
(Council Member)
Department of Nutrition & Health Sciences
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Universiti Putra Malaysia
43400 UPM Serdang
Selangor D.E.
 Cik Hajjah Zainab Tambi
(Council Member)
Division of Family Health Development
Ministry of Health Malaysia
2nd Floor, Block B, Statistics Building
Jalan Cenderasari
50590 Kuala Lumpur
 Assoc Prof Dr Norimah A Karim
(Council Member)
Department of Nutrition & Dietetics
Faculty of Allied Health Sciences
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
50300 Kuala Lumpur

 Year established

Number of members

Honorary  1
 Fellow  8
 Life  90
 Ordinary  293
 Associate  144
 Student  180
Corporate  21

(as of March 2004)

Activities of Society/Association during 2003
4.1 NSM Education Fund
From May 2002 until August 2004, 15 members received the NSM Seminar Grant for participation at conferences held overseas and locally.

 4.2      NSM Publications
NSM publishes the Malaysian Journal of Nutrition (MJN) biannually. The MJN is managed by Honorary Editor, Prof Dr Khor Geok Lin from Universiti Putra Malaysia. Volume 8 Numbers 1 & 2 issues were published in March and September 2002, respectively; while Volume 9 Numbers 1 & 2 were published in year 2003.

Berita NSM gained a “New Look” and a “New Life” in 2003. The committee managed to put together a terrific bumper issue covering events held in 2001 and 2002. The newsletter is managed by a Publication Committee chaired by Dr Tee E Siong, President NSM.

The second volume of healthy Malaysian recipes entitled “Resipi Sihat, Pilihan Bijak Volume 2” was published and launched on 13 April 2002. The recipe book contains 100 delicious and specially modified culinary delights from all 13 states in Malaysia, and is published in two languages, Bahasa Melayu and English. Volume 1 has sold more than 80,000 copies, while Volume 2 has sold approximately 28,000 copies.

The Total Child book is a product of a collaboration between the Malaysian Pediatric Association and NSM. The book is titled “The Total Child: the parents guide to child health and nutrition – from pre-birth through the preschool years”. The 146-page book comprises sections on various periods of developments of the child, plus one section on healthy recipes for young children. It is targeted towards young first-time parents’ readership.

4.3 Nutriweb Malaysia (
NSM’s official website, Nutriweb Malaysia, was launched in year 2001. To date, it is well-maintained and is regularly updated by it’s webmaster at MIMCED Sdn Bhd. Besides nutrition-related articles targeted at a public audience, the website also contains articles from the Malaysian Journal of Nutrition, meant for a professional audience. NSM also regularly updates conference announcements and news articles onto the website. MIMCED also maintains an Online Membership Database for NSM as well as a database system for Online Registration of the annual NSM Scientific Conferences.

Nutriweb was nominated for the Anugerah Perdana Teknologi Maklumat (APTM) in year 2003. The APTM was introduced by the Malaysian government in 1999, and is an annual award given as a recognition and acknowledgement to agencies, which are successful in using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to benefit the public.

 4.4Bright Start Nutrition Programme
Bright Start Nutrition (BSN) is a nutrition education programme initiated by the Society with the collaboration of Malaysian Paediatric Association, Malaysian Association of Kindergartens and Association of Registered Childcare Providers of Malaysia. It is the country’s first comprehensive nutrition education programme by a professional body.

The programme was carried out over three years and ended in year 2003. The BSN Advisory Panel is chaired by Dr Tee E-Siong and comprises experts from various disciplines including nutrition, dietetics, paediatrics, early childhood education, psychology and communications. The panel members meet regularly to plan educational activities and vet materials prior to its publication.

A series of education materials was developed based on the BSN Nutrition Guidelines and Food Guide Pyramid. They include nutrition handbooks such as “Right Nutrition for Your Child” for parents, “Nutrition for Early Childhood Care and Education Professionals” for kindergarten and childcare operators, “My Food Adventure” an activity workbook for children and a growth record card to assist parents in monitoring their child’s growth and development. BRIGHT magazine, a bimonthly publication, for parent members was published in year 2002 and 2003, with Dr Tee E-Siong as the Editor-in-chief.

BSN also conducted a series of Child Health and Nutrition Seminars at various locations around the country. In addition, BSN provided nutrition training sessions for Malaysian Association of Kindergartens’ training in Kuala Lumpur. Other education activities include the BSN Children’s Fun Time conducted at kindergartens / childcare centers.

Through BSN, Dutch Lady Nutrition Center had provided a study grant to NSM amounting to conduct a growth study on preschool children. The data collection for this study had concluded and a final report is being prepared.

4.5 19th Scientific Conference and AGM
NSM holds its Annual Scientific Conference in March every year, in conjunction with its Annual General Meeting. This year, the 19th Scientific Conference was held on 25 – 26 March 2004, at the Prince Hotel & Residence in Kuala Lumpur. It was themed “Nutrition Challenges in a Globalised World”. The scientific programe was packed with many renowned local and foreign speakers. Approximately 320 participants attended the two-day meeting.

In year 2004, four members of the Society were elected as Fellows of the Society, namely Dr Zawiah Hashim (Nestle Products (M) Sdn Bhd), Ms Rokiah Don (Ministry of Health), Dr Kalyana Sundram (Malaysian Palm Oil Board) and Dr S Vellayan (Zoo Negara). NSM Prizes were awarded to six postgraduates and six undergraduates for thesis projects completed the previous year. NSM Best Student Prizes were awarded to 12 undergraduate nutrition students from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and Universiti Putra Malaysia for outstanding performance in academic and co-curricular activities.

A Young Investigators’ Session was held where six undergraduate students gave oral presentations of their final year thesis projects. Prizes were given to the top three presenters. An undergraduate poster competition was also held and prizes given to the top three poster presenters.

This year’s AGM also saw the election of new office bearers, and the 10th NSM Council was elected to serve for two years until March 2006, as listed in item 3 above.

 4.6Scientific Updates
Year 2003 saw only one scientific update being held. The scientific update was themed “Carotenoids and Health”. It was co-organised with the Malaysian Palm Oil Promotion Council and Malaysian Dietitians’ Association. The event was held at Grand Seasons Hotel, Kuala Lumpur on 15 July 2003. There were two presenter, the first being Prof Dr George Britton of University of Liverpool, United Kingdom, followed by Dr Koh Chu Sing of Malaysian Palm Oil Promotion Council. The talk was chaired by Dr Tony Ng. The event was attended by some 550 participants from NSM, MDA and nurses.

4.7 Nutrition Month Malaysia
The Nutrition Month project, proposed by the Nutrition Society of Malaysia, is a collaborative effort between fellow professional bodies, namely NSM, Malaysian Dietitians’ Association, Malaysian Association for the Study of Obesity and the Ministry of Health. The Nutrition Month Malaysia (NMM) was inaugurated on 13 April 2002, by Y.B. Dato’ Chua Jui Meng, Minister of Health Malaysia in Petaling Jaya.

The objective of the programme is to promote greater awareness and practice of healthy eating, in line with the Government’s efforts to build healthy families as the cornerstone for a healthy nation. The NMM is spearheaded by a National Steering Committee, which comprised representatives from the respective participating bodies and is managed by VersaComm Sdn Bhd. The Steering Committee iss chaired by Dr Tee E Siong, President of the NSM.

A number of activities are conducted to further raise the awareness of the public on the importance of healthy eating to maintaining health and wellbeing. For 2003, the theme selected was Healthy Eating, Healthy Life. Four  key messages were identified for focus, namely

§  Healthy Eating Guidelines & Food Guide Pyramid
§  Healthy Food Choices
§  Nutrition Claims & Advertising
§  Healthy Food Preparation
§  Fighting Infections (Nutrition and Immunity)

A series of four articles were written based on the four key messages. Articles were published in leading newspapers (in three languages) during the NMM in April – May 2003. The same articles were also published in OH! Magazine from July till October 2003. The key messages were also put on Nutriweb, and sent to State Nutrition Officers through the Family Health Development Division, Ministry of Health. Nutritionists giving talks during the Nutrition Month celebrations were encouraged to give their talk along the lines of the key messages.

A 1-day health exhibition cum screening was conducted in an estate near Seremban. Over three estate workers were screened for weight, height, BMI, body fat, blood pressure and blood cholesterol and glucose. Dietary advise was provided to each of the participants to the screening.

For 2004, the series of articles published in the mass media had a different focus. The theme selected was Eat Right, Work Well, in relation to the needs and lifestyles of 4 main groups:

  • Factory workers and their managements
  • Busy executives/office workers
  • Working women
  • Tertiary students

Four articles were published, emphasizing on the nutritional challenges facing these groups and providing tips on maintaining healthy eating practices. A 4-part television talk show interviews with nutritionists and dietitians was carried out. A 4-part poster set was distributed for display in government clinics and hospitals of the Ministry of Health throughout the country.

A Nutrition Roadshow was held on 25 June 2004, at a electronic factory in Bangi, in conjunction with Nutrition Month Malaysia 2004. A total of 300 staff of the factory was screened for body weight and height (and BMI calculated), body fat, blood pressure, blood cholesterol and glucose. Dietary advice was provided individually to each subject. A talk emphasizing on “Eat Well, Work Right” was delivered to the staff. Nutrition Month Malaysia posters were displayed and food and nutrition leaflets of Nutrition Society of Malaysia and Ministry of Health were distributed to all participants.

4.8      Weight Management Information Centre (WMIC)
Dr Tee E Siong reporesents the NSM in the WMIC Board of Members. The Centre aims to provide provide professional advice on matters relating to maintenance of body weight through adopting appropriate dietary practices and a regular exercise programme. The public can participate in seminars, workshops and talks organized by staff members of the Centre. The Centre also maintains a website: to provide educational information to the public.

6.10 Other activities involving the NSM
 a)     National Diabetes Institute (NADI) ‘Fight Against Diabetes’ Programme
DI was launched on 19 September 2002, with the aim of creating awareness and empowering the people to prevent and control the disease and its complications. Working in partnership with various organizations including the Nutrition Society of Malaysia, Malaysian Dietitians’ Association, Malaysian Association for the Study of Obesity, as well as the Ministry of health, NADI launched a massive “Fight Against Diabetes” (FAD) Programme. Dr Tee E Siong is the Secretary of FAD, while Dr Poh represents NSM in the Advisory Panel established to oversee the implementation of the programme.

The “Fight Against Diabetes” programme continued into 2003 with a variety of activities including seminars, forums and newspaper articles. A series of roadshows were also held for the public at various shopping malls around the country. In year 2004, the FAD programme went rural and a series of roadshows are now being carried out in FELDA schemes in various states in the country.

 b) Nutrition Programme in Schools
This programme is a Ministry of Education project supported by NSM, MASO and UKM, and sponsored by Nestle. In year 2003, Dr Tee E Siong represents the Society at the Technical Working Group for this programme. Starting in year 2004, Dr Mohd Nasir Mohd Taib took over from Dr Tee to represent NSM at the Technical Working Group.

The first phase of the programme involved twelve schools in the Klang Valley, comprising 10 government schools and 2 private schools. Its pre-intervention evaluation was carried out in early 2003, followed by an intervention programme in the second half of 2003. The intervention programme comprised nutrition education for Year 2 and Year 4 pupils as well as a workshop for school canteen operators. The intervention programme ended with a “Pertandingan Senamrobik dan Lukisan” on 16 October 2003, held at the Taman Tun Dr Ismail Community Hall. A post-evaluation of the nutrition education intervention will be carried out from March till May 2004.

The second phase of the programme started with a workshop to brief the principals and teachers of 52 schools in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur. Another workshop will be held in the near future to train teachers on how to use the nutrition education materials. This second phase of the programme will involve staff of the Ministry of Education at national, state and district level, to carry out monitoring of the programme.

c)  IX Asian Congress of Nutrition
The NSM sponsored 28 members of the Society to participate at the 9th ACN held in New Delhi, India on 22 – 27 February 2003. Almost all members attending the congress made oral or poster presentations at the congress. Dr Tee E Siong was invited to presented a paper entitled “Current issues and challenges in food and nutrition in South East Asia” in the first Plenary Session “Changing Nutrition Science in Asia”. Prof Mohd Ismail Noor was invited to present “Obesity: with particular reference to physical activity and energy expenditure” in the Obesity Symposium. Dr Kalyana Sundram of MPOB presented his paper on “Phytonutrients from oils and fats” in the “Nutrition and health aspects of edible oils and fats” Symposium. Prof Dr Abdul Salam Babji of UKM also presented a paper on “Replacement of animal fats with palm fats in improving the nutritional quality of meat products” during the “Food fortification – research and quality assurance” Symposium. Dr Tony Ng Kock Wai and Dr Kalanithi Nesaratnam presented their papers in the Oral Free Communication session, while other members presented in the Poster Free Communication sessions.

 d) ILSI Southeast Asia’s “2nd Seminar & Workshop on Harmonization of Nutrition Labeling & Scientific Basis of health Claims in ASEAN”
This event was organised by International Life Sciences Institute Southeast Asia and co-organised by NSM. It was held at Renaissance Hotel, Kuala Lumpur on 20 – 23 October 2003. Approximately 140 participants, comprising 120 locals and 20 foreigners, took part in the seminar. There were also many participants from the industry.

e)National Coordinating Committee on Food and Nutrition (NCCFN)
The National Coordinating Committee on Food and Nutrition is a multi-disciplinary, multiagency committee that plans nutrition activities for the country. It is chaired by the Deputy Director-General of Health (public health) and has membership from various government departments, universities, research institutes and professional bodies. In the year 2003, Dr Tee E Siong represents NSM in the NCCFN.

Under the NCCFN, four Technical Working Groups were formed; namely (i) TWG for Training chaired by Prof Dr Khor Geok Lin of UPM, (ii) TWG for Nutritional Guidelines chaired by Prof Dr Mohd Ismail Noor of UKM, (iii) TWG for Research chaired by Dr Safiah Mohd Yusuf of MOH, and (iv) TWG for Policies chaired by Dr Narimah Awin.

Under the TWG for Nutritional Guidelines, a Technical Committee is now working towards a new RDA for Malaysia, while another Technical Committee is working on “Dietary Guidelines for Infants”. Dr Tee E Siong represents the NSM at the first technical committee, while Dr Poh Bee Koon represents NSM at the second technical committee.

Dr Tee E Siong also represents the Society at the TWG for Policies, which was given the responsibility of drafting the Nutrition Policy. The draft has also been sent for comments by other ministries and agencies and tabled for discussion at the Food Safety and Nutrition Council meeting chaired by the Minister of Health Malaysia on 3 September 2003 in Putra Jaya.

f) echnical Working Group on Nutritional Guidelines
Dr Tee represents NSM at this Technical Working Group, which is chaired by Prof Dr Mohd Ismail Noor. There are three subcommittees with NSM representatives as follows:
Technical Subcommittee on Energy and Protein Requirements, chaired by Prof Dr Mohd Ismail Noor. NSM representative is Dr Poh Bee Koon, who also acts as Secretary for the group.
Technical Subcommittee on Vitamin Requirements chaired by Dr Tee E Siong, who is the NSM representative.
Technical Subcommittee on Mineral Requirements chaired by Prof Dr Khor Geok Lin.

Work on the RNI is about completed. The consensus workshop is expected to be held in the third quarter of this year. It is hoped that the RNI will be published before the end of 2004.

g) National Codex Committee
NSM’s representative to the National Codex Committee is Dr Amin Ismail. He has attended several meetings in National Codex Committee, ASEAN Task Force on Codex and Codex Sub-Committee on Nutrition and Food for Special Dietary Uses.

h)Guidelines for Prevention of Obesity
In year 2000, MASO initiated an effort to develop guidelines for the prevention and management of Obesity. There will be two separate guidelines, one for the prevention of obesity chaired by Prof Dr Mohd Ismail Noor, and the other one on the Clinical Practice Guidelines chaired by Prof Dr Ikram Shah Ismail of Universiti Malaya. The Committee for the Guidelines for Prevention of Obesity comprises experts from various institutions and organizations. Dr Tee E Siong represents NSM at this Committee. The Guidelines is currently in the final stages of drafting.