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Obesity Awareness Outreach with school children

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The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus carried out ‘Challenge-based Obesity Awareness Intervention for Youth and School Children’, which is a project to raise awareness of obesity and its related problems.

The obesity awareness team was led by Dr Suresh Kumar Mohankumar from Department of Biomedical Sciences and Dr Soma Mitra from the School of Bioscience, who organised a series of poster competitions in participating schools, namely SMK Convent Kajang, SMJK Yu Hua Kajang, SMK Dato’ Klana Putra Lenggeng and SMK King George V Seremban.

Dr Suresh Kumar Mohankumar said: “As we know, there is an increasing concern about the rise of childhood obesity and the implications of such obesity persisting into adulthood that leads to a growth in health burden for the next generation. To combat obesity, one of the innovative strategies is to seed young minds to live healthily throughout their childhood and all through their lives.

“Our university obesity awareness outreach team, with 20 university students who were passionate about promoting obesity awareness in Malaysia, led this project which garned very enthusiastic participation among students from these schools.” Dr Suresh said.

Competition

The first phase of the project consisted of an ‘Intra-school poster competition’ among SMK Convent Kajang, SMJK Yu Hua Kajang, SMK Dato’ Klana Putra Lenggeng and SMK King George V, Seremban, where 33 participants submitted hand-drawn posters with the theme: “Innovative Health Education Strategies to Combat Obesity”.

Winners from the first phase then proceeded to the next and final ‘Inter-high school poster competition’. They made their poster presentations during the ‘Obesity Awareness Day’ event held in UNMC and the top three posters were then selected by a panel of judges from UNMC.

At the awards presentation day, the Nutrition club and Biomedical Sciences Society from UNMC conducted interactive games for visitors and provided hands-on health education activities at their booths. Tanita Healthy Weight Community Trust, Japan offered free body composition analysis for the public.

“The information obtained from the body composition assessment is very helpful in educating, motivating and building awareness of health risks to the visitors,” Dr Suresh said.

Winners

UNMC congratulates the winners of the competition, namely Raymond Chong Ming Fung from SMK King George V in first place, Wan Yong Chiek from SMK King George V as the first runner up and Jayapriya Paramalsingam from SMK Dato’s Klana Putra as the second runner up. They were awarded RM1,500, RM1,000 and RM750 respectively, together with mementoes and certificates.

For the university student category, Fayaz Ibrahim Miflal was the winner, Lim Chern Yi Alyssa as the first runner up, and Olivia Najah Gibson as the second runner up. They were awarded RM250, RM100 and RM50 respectively. Each cash prize will be paired with a free 3-month trial Uni-Village gym membership and certificates. A similar competition was held among a group of 28 students from Kazakhstan as part of a summer school program at UNMC. “We continue to seed “Think, Eat and Live Healthy” in our future generations,” Dr Suresh said, on behalf of “Young Minds Health Innovations” project team.

This project was funded by Tanita Healthy Weight Community Trust and Impact Nottingham.

(Article image: The poster created the winner, Raymond Chong)

(Thumbnail image: (from left to right): Dr Suresh, Raymond Chong from SMK King George V, Wan Yong Chiek and Jayapriya A/P Paramalsingam.

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More information is available from Dr Suresh Kumar Mohankumar on SureshK.MohanKumar@nottingham.edu.my or Josephine Dionisappu, PR & Communications Manager on +6 (03) 8924 8746josephine.dionisappu@nottingham.edu.my .

Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham has 42,000 students at award-winning campuses in the United KingdomChina and Malaysia. It was ‘one of the first to embrace a truly international approach to higher education’, according to the Sunday Times University Guide 2013. It is also one of the most popular universities among graduate employers, one of the world’s greenest universities, and winner of the Times Higher Education Award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development’. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong and the QS World Rankings. 

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise. The University aims to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health. The University won a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education for its research into global food security.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest ever fundraising campaign, will deliver the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. 

Posted on 8th December 2016

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