Friday, November 22, 2013

Packed food products must have label on calorie content: Subramaniam

KUALA LUMPUR: It is compulsory for most packaged food products high in calorie content to bear energy value labels under the Malaysian Food Regulations 1985.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said under the regulation, the labelling of food covering energy content was compulsory for available food grains, bread and milk products.
Flour confectionary, salad sauce, light drinks, meat, fish and vegetables in can, canned fruits and special food such as baby formula, follow-up formula and others.
"However, food products which are not listed in the above categories can declare their calorie content by complying with the requirement stated in the related provision," he said in a written answer to Lim Lip Eng (DAP-Segambut) which was distributed at the Parliament lobby here today.
Lim wanted to know if the government would make it compulsory for all food items to state calorie content and definition of obesity, according to age.
Dr Subramaniam said fast-food restaurants were also encouraged to give information to the customers on the calorie content in every food sold.
Meanwhile, he said the measurement for obesity in Malaysia for babies and children was based on the 'Body Mass Index' (BMI) chart for ages issued by the World Health Organisation.    
"A baby and child, aged 0 to five years, is obese when the BMI calculation exceeds the +3SD curve or line (z-skor). For a child aged five to 19, obesity is defined as the calculation of BMI exceeding the +2SD curve or line (z-skor)," he added.
He said the classification of obesity for adults was based on the BMI calculation, taking into account weight in kilogramme and height in metres.
"Those classified as obese have a BMI in excess of 30," noted the minister. -- BERNAMA

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