Malaysian Dietary Guidelines for Children and Adolescents
National Coordinating Committee on Food and Nutrition – Ministry of Health Malaysia 2013
Many countries in the world are still battling with problems of malnutrition amongst
children. About ten million children die before reaching the age of five each year throughout
the world, and more than a third of these deaths are associated with malnutrition. At the
same time, adolescents are faced with body image problems and health risk behaviours
such as tobacco or drug abuse that may lead to poor nutritional status.
In Malaysia, even though the National Health and Morbidity Survey III (2006) findings indicated that children under 5 years had better nutritional status compared to those in neighbouring countries,
there is evidence that the nutritional status of infants is still sub-optimal.
The rate of exclusive breastfeeding was found to be less than optimal, whereby infants were hurriedly
being introduced to alternative feeding by desperate mothers seeking to juggle between
family and careers. In addition, complementary feeding is still being inappropriately timed.