Subang Jaya (The Star/ANN) - Overweight and obese Malaysians can now seek free professional help and support from the new nationwide My Weight My Health Helpline.
Set up by the Malaysian Pharmaceutical Society (MPS), the helplines call centres will be manned by a team of pharmacists, nutritionists and dietitians.
MPS president Datuk Nancy Ho said the helpline was an initiative to help combat the worrying obesity level in the country.
She pointed out that obesity was often the underlying cause of cardiovascular diseases.
In Malaysia, it was reported that about 43% of adults, 20% of adolescents and 26% of primary school children were either overweight or obese.
She said the helpline would help patients embark on a lifestyle modification programme for a healthier life.
We will hold their hand, help them to be more conscious of their eating habits, she said at a press conference after the helpline was launched yesterday, adding that the advice also included tips for healthy lifestyle changes.
She said the information given by patients to helpline staff would be kept confidential.
Ho said those who sought help would receive four months of support and guidance to ensure they were making progress in achieving their individual needs and goals.
Dont expect overnight results. We dont want patients to go in for quick fixes, she warned.
The helpline is part of MPS public health campaign, which will also include public health education programmes via radio, television and print.
Community pharmacists will also undergo a Pharmacist Certification Programme so they can advise the public on various aspects of weight management.
The toll-free helpline number is 1300 800 373.