Tackling Obesity in ASEAN: Prevalence, impact, and guidance on interventions.

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) launched “Tackling Obesity in ASEAN: Prevalence, impact, and guidance on interventions.” This report, commissioned by the Asia Roundtable on Food Innovation for Improved Nutrition (ARoFIIN), analyses obesity in ASEAN through consumer and healthcare practitioner surveys, an intervention effectiveness analysis and an assessment of the economic impact of obesity.

The report highlights these key findings:

  • Obesity prevalence rates have more than tripled in low and middle-income countries through 1980-2013
  • ASEAN countries facing the highest costs of obesity in 2016 are: Indonesia (US$2-4bn) and Malaysia (US$1-2bn)
  • Obese workers in ASEAN are less productive than their healthy counterparts. They effectively contribute to the economy for between four and nine years less than the working-age population average
  • Individually, interventions that target either food intake or exercise show the greatest promise in the fight against obesity. The effectiveness of interventions that target both is even higher

Please refer to the full report here

2017 Global Nutrition Report

A better nourished world is a better world. Yet the 2017 Global Nutrition Report shows that, despite the significant steps the world has taken towards improving nutrition and associated health burdens over recent decades, nutrition is still a large-scale and universal problem. Too many people are being left behind from the benefits of improved nutrition. Yet when we look at the wider context, the opportunity for change has never been greater. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted by 193 countries in 2015, offer a tremendous window of opportunity to reverse or stop these trends.

The 2017 Global Nutrition Report shows there are five core areas of development that run through the SDGs which nutrition can contribute to, and in turn, benefit from:

  • sustainable food production
  • infrastructure
  • health systems
  • equity and inclusion
  • peace and stability.

Through these areas, the report finds that improving nutrition can have a powerful multiplier effect across the SDGs. Indeed, it indicates that it will be a challenge to achieve any SDG without addressing nutrition. The report shows that there is an exciting opportunity to achieving global nutrition targets while catalysing other development goals through ‘double duty’ actions, which tackle more than one form of malnutrition at once. Likewise, potential ‘triple duty actions’, which tackle malnutrition and other development challenges, could yield multiple benefits across the SDGs.

If readers take away one message from this report, it should be that ending malnutrition in all its forms will catalyse improved outcomes across the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The challenge is huge, but it is dwarfed by the opportunity.

Please may download the full report from this link

ARoFIIN 2016 Abstracts and Presentations

In preparation for the 2nd ARoFIIN Roundtable in January 2016, the Steering Committee issued an invitation for delegates to submit abstracts for oral presentations on case studies that highlight multi-stakeholder/public-private partnership projects in Asia, involving parties from at least two of the sectors:  academic institutions, public agencies, industry players and/or non-governmental organisations/civil societies. Projects that focus on food innovation, reformulation and/or promote healthy life style interventions to improve nutrition and/or address the obesity, over-calorie consumption and non-communicable disease challenge will be of primary interest at the event.

The following case studies submitted by the delegates showcase integrated nutrition-sensitive programmes from a wide range of disciplines, including food-processing technology, food science, human nutrition, public health, early childhood development and others. These are all applicable in Asia and align with the vision and theme of ARoFIIN 2016:


Title Author and Affiliation
Promoting a Healthy Breakfast Education through Partnership in Indonesia

Presentation Slides
Prof. Hardinsyah Ridwan
(Bogor Agricultural University and Food and Nutrition Society of Indonesia) 
Dr. Doddy Izwardy
(Ministry of Health, Indonesia)
From Research Results To Collective Innovative Action To Solve Malnutrition: Science And Technology Initiatives In The Philippines

Presentation Slides
Dr. Mario Capanzana
(Food and Nutrition Research Institute – Department of Science and Technology, Philippines)
Monitoring Packaged Food Supply And Engaging With The Food Industry To Improve Nutrient Profile: Case Studies In Australia

Presentation Slides
Dr. Jason Wu
(The George Institute for Global Health, Australia)
Ageing Well: Collaborative Contributions From Public Health, Industry And Academia Emeritus Prof. Jean Woo
(The Chinese University of Hong Kong)
Co-ingestion Of Amino Acids With Rice on Glycaemic And Insulinaemic Response: A Novel Strategy For Lowering The High-GI Rice Diets Consumed In Asia

Presentation Slides
Prof. Jeyakumar Henry
(Clinical Nutrition Research Centre, Singapore)
Implementation Of Summary Type Front-Of-Pack Labelling In Thailand: Latest Nutrition Symbol Initiative to Tackle Obesity and NCDs Assoc. Prof. Visith Chavasit
(Institute of Nutrition, Mahidol University, Thailand)
Healthy Kids Programme Malaysia Develops A Nutrition Education Package For The Prevention of Obesity Amongst Primary School Children Dr. Tee E-Siong
(Nutrition Society of Malaysia)
A Multi-Stakeholder Partnership For The Design, Production And Testing of A Local Complementary Nutritious Food Supplement In Bangladesh Ms.  Kalpana Beesabathuni and Dr. Klaus Kraemer
(Sight and Life)
Public-Private Partnership: A Case Example At Coca-Cola Singapore Dr. Grace Landert-Soon and Ms. Amanda Lin
(Coca-Cola Far East Limited, Singapore)
Fortified Rice Technology For Addressing Nutritionally Vulnerable Populations

Presentation Slides
Dr. James Bauly and Mr. Yannick Foing
(DSM Nutritional Products, Asia Pacific)
FrieslandCampina: Championing Good Health And Nutrition In Southeast Asia

Presentation Slides
Dr. Marjolijn Bragt-van Wijngaarden and Ms. Ada Wong
(FrieslandCampina Development Centre, Singapore)
Improving Product Innovation And Communication Through Children’s Nutrition Knowledge Leadership Dr. Allan Lim
(Nestlé R&D Centre, Singapore)