HEALTHY MALAYSIA? MALAYSIANS DISAGREE

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KUALA LUMPUR, 11 May 2016 – Malaysia scored a mediocre 63 points out of 100 in the 2016 Healthy Living Index – the third wave of AIA’s landmark survey of over 10,000 adults across 15 countries in Asia Pacific. The 2016 survey also showed that the 751 Malaysian adults who participated in the survey scored lower (68 points) than the regional average of 73 points when asked if they were satisfied with their health status.

Close to 70% of Malaysian adults felt their health was not as good as it was five years ago. Even more worrying is that 61% of adults under age 30 agreed with this sentiment, although this younger age group should be in the prime of their health. For the first time, the survey also uncovered obesity as a growing challenge for both adults and children.

Those surveyed recognised that healthy living involved a combination of physical elements such as getting sufficient sleep and eating healthy, as well as mental aspects such as maintaining a positive mindset and knowing how to reduce stress. Unfortunately, a key component of healthy living for many in other countries – exercise – did not even feature as one of the top drivers of healthy living among Malaysian adults.

Thomas Wong, Chief Marketing Officer of AIA Bhd. said, “The lack of improvement in Malaysia’s Healthy Living Index score, with so many Malaysians feeling unsatisfied with their health, is a big concern. Understanding how adults think and act when it comes to their health is a vital first step to identifying solutions for those concerns.

“The AIA Healthy Living Index also helps us gauge Malaysians’ self-awareness. In Malaysia, while there is high awareness about the state of their health and a willingness to do much more to live healthy, the question is whether this has translated to sustainable actions. The survey findings seem to indicate otherwise. Where help is needed are in the areas of guidance and motivation so that Malaysians can get on track and stay on track.”