Thursday, March 22, 2007

Chinese live longer due to lifestyle and eating habits

CHINESE women live longest in the country, averaging 78 years, compared with the 75 years by Indian women and 74 years for Malays.

Among men, the average life span is 73 years for the Chinese, 70 for Malays and 67 for Indians. The longevity of the Chinese is attributed to their lifestyle and eating habits.

These statistics were given yesterday by Health Ministry parliamentary secretary Datuk Lee Kah Choon in reply to a question from Tan Sri Dr Ting Chew Peh (BN-Gopeng).
Lee said the average life span of Malaysians had increased in the last 50 years due to better education and improved healthcare facilities.

To a supplementary question from Datuk Badrudin Amiruldin (BN-Jerai), he agreed that fast food had contributed to health problems such as obesity and various diseases.
Speaking to reporters later, Lee said many people practised bad eating habits, such as having late suppers and consuming food with high sugar, salt and fat content.
"The Kelantanese, for example, eat food that is rich in coconut milk," he told the New Straits Times.
"A large number of people go to bed immediately after supper and this can contribute to disorders like obesity."
He said certain lifestyles adopted by ethnic groups, such as the Penans, who encourage marriages among relatives, also contributed to an increased risk of disease.
Lee said the ministry had narrowed its focus on fast food chains as they advertised a lot in the media.
"We are not focusing on mamak restaurants serving instant noodles as they don’t influence the minds of young children.
"We are against fast food advertisements mainly because young children are easily influenced by them."



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