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Across Asia, obesity, malnutrition and chronic diseases are some of the biggest health challenges of the 21st century. To facilitate a multi-stakeholder platform to initiate a dialogue on an integrated approach to solving these challenges, the Asia Roundtable on Food Innovation for Improved Nutrition, or ARoFIIN, was inaugurated on 30 January 2015 in Singapore.

With an initial focus on Southeast Asia, senior delegates from government, academia, industry and the rest of society exchange views on the current landscape as it relates to the social, economic and health opportunities for food and nutrition-based R&D, as well as consumer behavioural changes in the food and nutrition arena.

What's new

ARoFIIN Video: Tackling Obesity in Thailand with Industry Partnerships

Thailand faces the second highest obesity prevalence in Southeast Asia at 8.5 per cent, based on the recently launched “Tackling Obesity in ASEAN: Prevalence, impact, and guidance on interventions” report. Speaking with the Secretariat of the ARoFIIN, Associate Professor Dr Visith Chavasit, Director of the Institute of Nutrition at Mahidol University, discusses the issue of a rising obesity rate in Thailand, and the opportunities for public-private partnerships to tackle the problem.

ARoFIIN Video: Addressing Malnutrition in the Philippines

The Philippines battles a double burden of malnutrition – while obesity and overweight affect 18 million Filipinos and costs between four per cent and eight per cent of national healthcare spending, an estimated seven million children in the country still face hunger and under-nutrition. Consumer education, dietary and physical activity interventions among schoolchildren, and public-private partnerships are critical in addressing these challenges, says Dr Mario V. Capanzana.

Tackling Obesity in Malaysia with Consumer Education

Nutrition knowledge among Malaysians needs to be translated into action and practice, says Professor Dr Norimah A. Karim, Vice President of the Malaysian Association for the Study of Obesity (MASO). To tackle obesity, health education should start at a young age, in order to embed good dietary and physical activity habits in lifestyles.


Partnership at the Heart of Addressing Nutrition and Health Challenges in Asia

With at least 2.8 billion people worldwide affected by the dual burden of obesity and undernutrition, the Asia Roundtable on Food Innovation for Improved Nutrition (ARoFIIN) is determined to come up with a home-grown solution to tackle the problem across Asia.

South-East Asia is Getting Fatter, Faster

An inception report on “The Current Landscape and State of Health in Relation to Obesity in South-East Asia”, by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), has found that the obesity rate in the ASEAN Six is increasing faster than that of countries like the USA, UK and Japan.

Driving Better Nutrition in Asia Through Public-Private Partnership

With the double burden of obesity and undernutrition emerging as a threat to health and healthcare systems in the Asian region, a unique public-private partnership is looking at ways to initiate and sustain stakeholder dialogue on food innovation and improved nutrition to deal with these issues.


Taskforce One: Knowledge Platform

Taskforce One: Knowledge Platform

  • To establish a clear governance structure for ARoFIIN
  • To build an evidence-based knowledge hub and facilitate the nutrition dialogue

Taskforce Two: Consumer

Taskforce Two: Consumer

  • Enhance nutrition literacy, nutrition communications and understand consumer behaviour
  • Fill knowledge gaps on Asian diets and consumer preferences

Taskforce Three: Regulation

Taskforce Three: Regulation

  • Identify barriers and enablers for innovation and solutions for public health policies
  • Cultivate a conducive ecosystem that stimulates R&D in food and nutrition

Taskforce Four: Double Burden

Taskforce Four: Double Burden

  • Optimise nutrient accessibility, food innovation and reformulation to tackle malnutrition
  • Explore and identify sustainable funding mechanisms for nutrition and health interventions in Asia