Malaysia

NUTRITION SOCIETY OF MALAYSIA

Contact information
Dr E Siong Tee 
President, Nutrition Society of Malaysia 
Nutrition Society of Malaysia Nutrition Society of Malaysia 
Division of Human Nutrition Institute for Medical Research
Jalan Pahang, 50588 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Mailing Address:
No. 46, Jalan SS 22/32
47400 Petaling Jaya Selangor, Malaysia

Person to contact:
Dr Tee E Siong,President
Tel: 603-77 287 287
Fax: 603-77 287 426
Email: president@nutriweb.org.my

Prof Norimah A Karim Hon, Secretary
Tel: 603-9289 7622
Fax: 603-2694 1296
Email: secretary@nutriweb.org.my
Tel: 603-77 287 287 

Website:www.nutriweb.org.my 

Year Established : 1985
 
Number of Members (as at Dec 2013):
Honorary 01
Fellow 27
Life Members 134
Ordinary Members 782
Associate Members 162
Corporate Members 36
 
Executive Council (15th Executive Council: 2014-2016)

President : Dr Tee E Siong, AMN, KMN, FNSM, FMSA
 
Vice-President : Prof Emeritus Dr Mohd Ismail Noor FASc, FIUNS, FNSM, FMSA, FMOSTA
 
Hon. Secretary : Prof Dr Norimah A Karim, FNSM
 
Hon. Treasurer : Assoc Prof Dr Zaitun Yassin, KMN, FNSM
Asst. Hon. Secretary : Dr Mahenderan Appukutty
 
Council Members :
Assoc Prof Dr Mohd Nasir Mohd Taib, FNSM
Dr Tan Sue Yee
Dr Roseline Yap Wai Kuan
Dr Gan Wan Ying
 

In Memoriam
 
Dr Chong Yoon Hin (1918-2014)
Founding President,
Nutrition Society of Malaysia

 
The Nutrition Society of Malaysia shares the loss of Dr Chong Yoon Hin, Founding President, who passed away on 30 January 2014, at the age of 82.
 
Dr Chong joined the Nutrition Division of the Institute for Medical Research in 1958. In 1965, he became the first Malaysian to be appointed as the Head the Nutrition Division in the IMR. He took on the challenge of building up the Division with local scientists and technical staff. For almost 3 decades, he led the Division in conducting various nutrition investigations, ranging from undernutrition in the early days to the emergence of non-communicable diet related diseases in the 1970s. His significant research contributions are clearly evident from the numerous publications on various areas of nutrition, notably in the area of lipid nutrition and community nutrition.
 
Recognising the need for a professional body in the field of nutrition in the country, Dr Chong initiated the formation of the Nutrition Society of Malaysia in 1985. He was elected the Founding President of NSM and led the promotion of nutrition science in the country. For the advancement of nutrition science in the region, Dr Chong led the NSM in the remarkable success of organising the 6th Asian Congress of Nutrition (ACN) in 1991. Dr Chong has therefore set the foundation for the growth and expansion of this professional body in the country, in the promotion of nutrition science and community nutritional wellbeing.

 
 
ACTIVITIES 2013-2014
  1. SCIENTIFIC CONFERENCES AND SEMINAR

    1. NSM ANNUAL SCIENTIFIC CONFERENCES 2014
       
      The first objective of the Nutrition Society of Malaysia (NSM) is to promote nutrition science, and organizing an annual conference is one of the ways towards achieving this goal. It is the largest nutrition meeting that nutritionists look forward to every year as it provides an excellent platform for them to meet new friends and previous acquaintances, be updated on nutrition science and share experiences and views.
       
      The 29th Scientific Conference of the Nutrition Society of Malaysia (NSM) 2014 was dedicated to discussing all aspects of the role of nutrition in public health issues. With the theme: Improving Lives Through Public Health Nutrition, it provided a platform for all involved in the various fields of PHN to share their experiences and expertise in improving community health. This annual nutrition meeting featured symposia sessions and poster presentations by all stakeholders in PHN.
       
      A unique feature of this year’s conference was that it was held in conjunction with the inaugural meeting of the Southeast Asia Public Health Nutrition (SEA-PHN) Network on 2 June. This historical development signaled the establishment of a collaboration of nutrition societies in SEA in public health nutrition matters. The conference was declared open by YB Dato’ Seri Dr Hilmi bin Haji Yahaya, Deputy Minister of Health, Ministry of Health Malaysia. He also launched the 1st Regional Nutrition Network in Southeast Asia during the official opening ceremony.
       
      The conference, usually attended by over 400 participants, typically has 5 symposia sessions, with over 20 oral presentations, many of which are related to the theme of the conference. A symposium is also set aside to enable members of NSM to share their research findings on a variety of issues on nutrition and health. The Young Investigator’s Symposium enabled budding nutritionists to experience making a presentation before their peers and members of the Society. A regular feature in this annual Conference is a specialised symposium for presentation by the food industry on innovations in foods and food ingredients. More than 150 scientific posters were on displayed in the conference covering a wide variety of research topics.
       
    2. Nutrition Updates
       
      In addition to the two conferences highlighted above, the Nutrition Society of Malaysia (NSM) also organised other scientific meetings, some were in collaboration with other organisations.
      1. Vitamin D in Human Nutrition
         
        NSM collaborated with the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) Malaysia Country Committee to organise the above seminar on 12 November 2013. This seminar provided an update on the scientific understanding of vitamin D in human nutrition, discussed gaps in knowledge, and enhanced networking for future work on this nutrient.
         
        Two key papers on ‘Update on Vitamin D in Human Nutrition’ covered current scientific findings on the benefits of vitamin D and the re-emergence of vitamin D as a public health concern. A review of the regulatory aspects of vitamin D was presented. Findings from 5 studies on vitamin D in the country were also presented. The seminar ended with a panel discussion focused on the studies on vitamin D status of Malaysians, the main research gaps and proposals for future activities and actions. The seminar was attended by 120 participants from research institutions, academia, government agencies and the private sector. A summary of the Seminar and the presentations are available from:http://www.ilsi.org/
         
      2. Seminar on Update on Food Innovation/Renovation for Healthier Food Choices
         
        The NSM collaborated with International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) Malaysia Country Committee to organise another seminar on 4 November 2014. The Seminar was focused on the role that food innovation and renovation can play in providing healthier processed food choices to consumers.
         
        A key background paper was on promoting healthy diets – role of food innovation and consumer education. A paper on government perspective and expectations of food innovation and renovation was presented. Other papers presented were related to industry efforts to innovate/renovate processed foods to provide healthier alternatives to the public, and the achievements and challenges. The focus of the seminar was also on consumer perception and acceptance of healthier food choices. The seminar provided a platform for all stakeholders to discuss effective approaches to food innovations and renovations and consumer acceptance. A panel discussion at the end of the seminar discussed at length collaborative approaches that can be undertaken to enable effective food innovation/renovation and consumer education.
         
        The seminar was attended by 140 participants from various organisations including research institutions, academia, government agencies and several food companies. Participants included nutritionists, dietitians, food scientists and technologists. A summary of the Seminar and the presentations are available from:http://www.ilsi.org/

    3. 9th Asia Pacific Conference on Clinical Nutrition

      The Nutrition Society of Malaysia has been given the honour to host the 9th Asia Pacific Conference on Clinical Nutrition (APCCN), from 26-29 January 2015, Kuala Lumpur. In cognizance of the prevailing nutritional disorders across the Asia-Pacific region, we have chosen to take on the theme: "Prevention and management of diseases through the life cycle: The role of nutrition and physical activity" for the Conference.
       
      9th APCCN will provide a platform for clinicians, nutritionists, dietitians and other health-care professionals to deliberate, exchange views and experiences in tackling the prevailing under- and over-nutrition problems that is affecting the young and old alike. We anticipate a great deal of useful information can be drawn from the pool of expertise that will gather. We envisage valuable learnings can be gained for the prevention and management of these disorders.
       
      At the time of writing this report, the Conference is at an advanced stage of preparation. Participants will have an opportunity to listen to plenary lectures from 6 speakers, 25 symposia sessions that will feature at least 65 speakers from 15 countries. In addition, there will be over 240 posters on display. Over 500 delegates will also have an opportunity to view the services and products of 8 corporate partners of the APCCN. Details of the conference are available from:http://www.apccn2015.org.my

  2. NSM PRIZES AND EDUCATION GRANTS
     
    To provide incentives to young nutrition scientists to excel in nutrition research, the NSM prizes have been given out during the annual NSM conferences. These include prizes awarded to postgraduate and undergraduate students based on their thesis submitted. For 2014, 6 undergraduate prizes were awarded as well as 5 post-graduate prizes. Each winner received a cash prize and a certificate.
     
    The NSM has also introduced the NSM Publication Prize to promote local research in nutritional sciences since 2008. The prizes are in several categories, sponsored by various Corporate Members of NSM. Each winner receives a cash prize and a certificate. Four categories of NSM Publication Prize were offered in 2014. These are for different fields of nutrition research, namely: Infant and Childhood Nutrition; Maternal Nutrition; Dairy Nutrition; and Bone Health & Nutrition. Prizes were awarded only for one category this year, ie infant and childhood nutrition, and 4 recipients received the prize.
     
    In addition to the above, the NSM has provisions for providing NSM Seminar Grant to professional members, to assist them to participate at national and overseas conferences.
     
  3. NSM PUBLICATIONS
     
    All the issues of the Malaysian Journal of Nutrition (MJN) for the years 2013-2014, comprising volumes 19 and 20 were all published on schedule. From volume 16 onwards, the number of issues per year has been increased to 3. Prof. Dr. Khor Geok Lin continues to serve as Editor of the journal. In addition to contributions by members of NSM, the journal also has several articles from foreign nutritionists. We invite all Asian nutritionists to submit articles for publication in our journal (write to: geoklin_khor@imu.edu.my). NSM does not impose any publication charges. MJN has been indexed in the Elsevier's database of the Scopus (EBiology and ECare Scopus), WHO West Pacific Region Index Medicus (WPRIM) database and recently accepted at Pubmed/Medline database. All MJN issues can be viewed as pdf files on the NSM website:http://nutriweb.org.my/publications/mjn free of charge.
     
    The Berita NSM, or NSM newsletter, is published once a year. The latest issue for 2013-2014 has been published and is available to members through the NSM website (www.nutriweb.org.my). The issue contains news and information on all NSM activities carried out each year.
     
    In an attempt to provide consumers with actual practical examples of healthier recipes, NSM has produced 2 series of recipe books. The first series, Resipi Sihat, Pilihan Bijak (Healthful Recipes, Wise Choice) Volumes 1 and 2 were published over a decade ago. These recipe books, with modified recipes with healthier ingredients and cooking methods, remain highly popular amongst the public.
     
    A second series of recipe books were published commencing 2 years ago. Volume 1 of Nutritionists’ Choice Cookbook (NCC), was launched in March 2011. The book contains more than 60 recipes and aims to provide useful tips and nutrition information to help mothers prepare healthier meals for their infants and young children. Volume 2 of NCC was published in late 2012 and provided 60 recipes for all the family.
     
    The NSM is currently planning to publish a third series of recipe books, the Junior Chef Cookbook series for kids. The main objective is to encourage children to participate in preparing and cooking of meals. Through these books, it is hoped to educate children about food and nutrition from young to inculcate good eating practices. It has been demonstrated that children who are interested in food and involved in meal preparation, eat better and healthier too. The new series will comprise 2 volumes, the first targeting young kids, while the second is for older children. The first volume is expected to be launched during the 30th Scientific Conference of the NSM in June 2015.
     
    In addition, NSM has published several other publications to provide the public with unbiased nutrition information on specific topics and target groups. A series of publications have also been made available through the Nutrition Month Malaysia programme. These will be described in the appropriate sections below.
     
    All NSM publications can be viewed as pdf files on the NSM web page mentioned below.
     
  4. NUTRIWEB (www.nutriweb.org.my)
     
    NSM’s official website, Nutriweb, continued to provide the public with educational material on food and nutrition. All educational materials of NSM, eg the recipe books, leaflets on healthy eating, dietary guidelines, RNI, are also uploaded on the website for the public.
     
    NutriWeb also serves as a resource for its professional members. It provides members with listings of upcoming conferences and other scientific meetings. The website is in the process of being revamped and upgraded.
     
  5. NSM research project: MyBreakfast Study
     
    NSM, in collaboration with Cereal Partners Worldwide (CPW) and Nestec, have just completed a nationwide study on breakfast habits among Malaysian school children and adolescents. Data collection was conducted from April to October 2013 in 58 urban schools and 28 rural schools around Malaysia, including Sabah and Sarawak. A total number of 8,705 children and adolescents, aged 6 to 17 years, participated in the study.
     
    The MyBreakfast Study aimed to determine breakfast habits among children and adolescents, with an emphasis on consumption of whole grain foods, ready-to-eat cereals (RTEC) and fortified beverages, especially at breakfast. The study also aimed to determine the contribution of breakfast towards energy and nutrient intake, and the association between body weight status, physical activity and breakfast consumption among the children.
     
    The results of the study are currently being analysed for several publications (expected to be published by 2015) and will be presented by the research committee in upcoming conferences.
     
  6. COMMUNITY NUTRITION PROMOTION PROJECTS
    1. Nutrition Month Malaysia (NMM)
       
      2014 marked the 12th consecutive year of Nutrition Month Malaysia (NMM), with the theme ‘Eat Right, Move More; Fight Obesity’. Launched by YB Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam, Minister of Health Malaysia, on 29 March, the NMM programme strives to promote healthy eating and active living among Malaysian families in order to prevent non-communicable diseases (especially obesity) that have been on the rise in Malaysia. NMM is the collaborative effort of three professional bodies, namely NSM, Malaysian Dietitians’ Association (MDA), and Malaysian Association for the Study of Obesity (MASO). This programme also receives support from the Ministry of Health Malaysia (MOH), particularly the Nutrition Division of MOH.
       
      One main attraction of NMM2014 was the Nutri-Fun Land Family Carnival organized from 29 -30 March 2014. The NutriFun Land showcased an interactive, educational, yet fun area where families could come over and uncover the truth about obesity and learn ways to prevent it. Families could also learn more about the Food Pyramid and the Physical Activity Pyramid, how to choose healthier foods and how to jumpstart their fitness regimes. The two-day Carnival also showcased free nutrition screenings (BMI, blood pressure, blood cholesterol, blood glucose and body fat) and provided free dietary advice by trained professionals as well as many other fun activities and games organised by the sponsors.
       
      A new NMM guide book entitled ‘Eat Right, Move More; Fight Obesity’ was published to serve as a reference for consumers. For the whole month, press articles on obesity awareness, nutrition and healthy lifestyle were published in the major newspapers as well as several health magazines. NMM also posted various educational posters on its NMM Facebook page to reach out to those who are more tech-savvy. School roadshows were held at 4 primary schools. Educational nutri-combo kits containing materials such as the Kembara Alam Sam comic book and the educational DIY nutritional props (foldable pyramid) were distributed to students who participated in the activity.
       
      NMM 2015 is at an advanced stage of preparation. The theme of NMM this year will be Eat Right, Move More: Prevent Diabetes from Young. The official launch shall be on 28 March 2015. Similar activities and educational materials are in preparation.
       
      More information regarding NMM and all educational materials published by the programme are available at the NMM website : http://nutritionmonthmalaysia.org.my.
       
    2. Healthy Kids Programme
       
      The Healthy Kids programme (HKP) in Malaysia, a collaborative education programme between the Nutrition Society of Malaysia (NSM) and Nestle Malaysia was launched in August 2010 with the aim to improve nutrition knowledge and promote healthy lifestyle among school children in the country. It consists of two components, namely the awareness component to reach out to masses; and the research component to develop, implement and evaluate effectiveness of a nutrition educational package. The ultimate goal at the end of the 3-year research component is to develop an interactive nutrition educational package that the Ministry of Education can utilize for implementation in all primary schools in the country.
       
      The awareness component focused on building and improving the dedicated website (www.healthkids.org.my). Interactive games for children were added to make learning for children more fun and engaging. Articles and recipes were also added to make the website relevant and interesting for parents. The 3-year research component of HKP commenced early 2011 and concluded last December 2013. A Knowledge, Attitude and Practice (KAP) survey conducted at the beginning and at the end of each year showed significant improvement in scores after 3 years of module implementation. Besides, the immediate impact surveys that were conducted before and after each educational session showed an increase in the mean score for all topics. Children who received the educational sessions also had lower prevalence of overweight and obesity over the 3-year period as compared to the control group.
       
      The positive results obtained from the research component have clearly proven the effectiveness of this nutrition educational package. NSM and Nestle are taking steps to roll out the developed package to more schools in the country. We have confirmed the collaboration of the Ministry of Education to initiate implementation of the package in more than 70 day-boarding schools in Sarawak and Sabah, to cover 6000 primary school children. By systematically implementing this programme in schools, we believe that it will have a positive impact by inculcating good nutrition knowledge, attitude, and healthy eating and lifestyle habits among Malaysian children, which may contribute to arresting the prevalence of childhood overweight and obesity. We hope that this will pave the way to a healthier nation and that the teachers would amplify our efforts!
       
    3. Mother’s Smart Choice Programme
       
      The Mother’s Smart Choice programme by NSM, in collaboration with Obstetrical & Gynaecological Society of Malaysia (OGSM), Malaysian Paediatric Association (MPA) and National Population & Family Development Board (LPPKN) has finally come to a close after three successful years. The programme was dedicated to supporting parents by providing practical advice and information on all aspects of infant and child nutrition, which include breastfeeding, complementary feeding and table foods.
       
      The programme had developed three educational booklets: Breastfeed with Confidence, Baby’s First Bites and, this year, Healthy Spoonfuls for Toddlers. More than 40,000 booklets were printed and disseminated through NSM’s various networks. Throughout the programme, 24 talks were conducted for nurses and 6 talks for parents. Furthermore, advertorials were published in major newspapers to reach out to the public.
       
      From mid-2014, Mother’s Smart Choice was rebranded as MyNutriBaby, a pillar programme under the MyNutriChild initiative. More information about this programme can be found in the following section of the report.
       
    4. MyNutri Child
       
      NSM has always advocated the practice of good nutrition from young. With the impetus provided by the Ministry of Health’s Malaysian Dietary Guidelines for Children and Adolescents (MDGCA), the Society is reiterating the call for good nutrition through a new long-term programme, MyNutriChild. The programme will be launched in collaboration with leading child experts, including the Obstetrical and Gynaecological Society of Malaysia (OGSM), Malaysian Paediatric Association (MPA), and National Population & Family Development Board (LPPKN). As the majority of Malaysians are spending more time online, MyNutriChild offers a strong digital core component (alongside various on-the-ground activities) that focuses on reaching out to Malaysians via its three major pillar programmes:
       
      (i). MyNutriBaby (0-24 months): Best Start for Baby
       
      This is an expansion of the Mother’s Smart Choice programme, designed to promote breastfeeding, complementary feeding and table food. MyNutriBaby is supported by Philips Malaysia. A comprehensive web portal offering useful resources for parents wishing to learn more about nutrition for young children below 2 has been established: www.mynutribaby.org.my. Monthly highlights and activities will be promoted through MyNutriBaby Facebook page to reach out to more parents.
       
      In conjunction with World Breastfeeding Month in August 2014, MyNutriBaby launched a campaign comprising an educational video and a community contest to promote support for breastfeeding mothers. The contest required participants to tag a breastfeeding mother and share a story of how they helped the mother’s breastfeeding effort.
       
      A series of fun educational MyNutriBaby roadshows at hospitals, work places and other high traffic outlets. Breastfeeding talks will also be conducted at hospitals.
       
      (ii) MyNutriJunior (2-6 years old): Nutrition for Learning
       
      This second component aims to promote good eating habits and practices among toddlers. To date, the collaboration opportunity for this pillar programme is still open to suitable corporate companies.
       
      (iii) MyNutriKid (7-12 years old): Watch out for Nutrition Gaps
       
      The third component aims to help parents identify signs of hidden hunger in primary school-aged children and optimise their children’s nutrition. MyNutriKid will debut in 2015 with support from GSK Consumer Healthcare.
       
    5. Mi-CARE: Phase 2 on Medical/Nutritional Specialisation
       
      Mi-CARE Nurse Training Workshop, a CPD Nurses Programme, specialises in aspects pertaining to maternal and infant care. Mi-CARE is jointly-spearheaded by NSM, Malaysian Paediatric Association (MPA), Obstetrical & Gynaecological Society Malaysia (OGSM) and National Midwifery Association Malaysia. Launched in early Year 2012, Mi-CARE carries out nationwide, two-day programmes, encapsulating various modules with latest updates and information in the field of paediatric nutrition, vaccinations and paediatric healthcare, child development, obstetrics and gynaecology, and infant care and hygiene. These modules are delivered by the nation’s leading medical and healthcare professionals. Modules are highly interactive, utilising various methods of learning, such as role-play sessions, clicker systems and group projects. To date, Mi-CARE has successfully implemented over 30 workshops throughout Malaysia, training over 4,900 nurses.
       
      With such forthcoming response, Mi-CARE incorporated a Phase II segment in year 2013, targeted at specific areas of medical/nutritional specialisation within the areas of pregnancy, maternal wellness and infant care. Also pushing beyond its previous years’ successes, Mi-CARE ventured to East Malaysia and other often-neglected states in North and East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia.
       
    6. Bright Start 4 Life
       
      BrightStart4Life, which was launched in October 2013, is an expert-driven educational programme. It is spearheaded by NSM as the lead initiator, in collaboration with Malaysian Paediatric Association (MPA), Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) as joint initiators, and supported by the National Population & Family Development Board (LPPKN).
       
      BrightStart4Life (B4L) is a long-term programme targeted at both public (young parents) and healthcare professionals. It aims at increasing awareness among young parents on the nutritional needs of infants, especially those with special feeding requirements, as well as promoting optimal nutrition for young children up to 6 years old. The main activities of the programme include publishing a series of articles/advertorials in major newspapers, producing clinic posters and educational booklets.
       
    7. Positive Parenting Programme
       
      The Positive Parenting (PP) programme of the Malaysian Paediatric Association (MPA) celebrates 14 years of success in 2014. The NSM has been an active expert partner of Positive Parenting since its inception and has been collaborating closely with MPA and various other professional bodies, in championing matters related to maternal wellness, infant and childcare.
       
      In the PP programme, NSM has been imparting nutritional and dietary-related knowledge on various platforms, relevant for the whole family. The PP Programme has adopted multi-faceted channels –including educational articles in major English, Malay and Chinese print dailies, the quarterly Positive Parenting Guide, parenting seminars, CPD continuous nursing educational seminars, mini-booklets, website, social media and a quarterly guidebook.
       
      On April 12, 2014, a new Phase III segment was launched, kick-starting a brand new chapter of PP, and the “Positive Parenting Pledge” initiative (facebook.com/positiveparentingmalaysia). The Positive Parenting website (www.mypositiveparenting.org) has also undergone a massive revamp, cementing its platform as the ‘WebMD’ of Malaysia on all information related to maternal, parenting and family wellness. As part of the expansion plans, a section called “My Positive Teen” has been introduced in the Positive Parenting Guide and website.

     
  7. PARTICIPATION IN PROJECTS OF MINISTRIES AND OTHER ORGANISATIONS
     
    The NSM supports the programmes and activities of various government ministries and agencies as well as other organisations. Council members and members of NSM represent the NSM and contribute to formulate policies, programmes and projects of these organisations.
     
    The following are the major committees/projects in which NSM members were involved in the report period:
    • National Coordinating Committee on Food and Nutrition (NCCFN)
    • Technical Working Group on Dietary Guidelines for Malaysia, MOH
    • Technical Working Group on Nutrition Promotion. MOH
    • Expert Working Group on Nutrition, Health Claims and Advertisement, MOH
    • Advisory Technical Committee for Food Regulations 1985, MOH
    • Codex National Sub Committees on Nutrition
    • Technical Committee on Foods for Infants and Young Children
    • School Canteen Programme of MOH
    • National Level Healthy Lifestyle Programme, MOH
    • Obesity Task Force, MOH
    • Technical Committee for Drafting of Allied Health Profession Bill

    The major active committees that NSM participated in 2012-2013 included the following:
    1. Allied Health Profession (AHP) Bill
       
      Discussions on the Allied Health Profession (AHP) Bill continued in the year. Several meetings and workshops were organised by Nutrition Division and also Allied Health Division of MOH to draft the regulation for all the professions. The Act and associated regulations are intended to regulate the practice of nutrition (and other allied health professions) in the country.
       
      A Technical Working Group (TWG) on Nutrition under the AHP has been established. The main terms of reference of the TWG is to assist in the registration and implementation of the AHP regulations that will be gazetted when the Act is passed in Parliament. The TWG discussed the definition of Nutritionists and the Code of Professional Conduct and Code of Ethics for this profession. The focus in the year was working with the Malaysian Qualifications Agency in the review of the standard for teaching of nutrition courses in local universities.
       
    2. MOH TWG Dietary Guidelines
       
      NSM council members participated actively in three MOH Technical Working Groups (TWG) on Dietary Guidelines, namely (1) for pregnant and lactating women (2) for the elderly and (3) vegetarians. These Guidelines are expected to be published later this year.

     
  8. The Southeast Asia Public Health Nutrition (SEA-PHN) Network
     
    It is strongly believed that nutrition societies in the Southeast Asian region can play greater roles in supporting the government agencies’ action plans in promoting public health nutrition and alleviating public health nutrition issues. The private sector too can contribute their expertise as well as resources in promoting public health nutrition. A network among nutrition societies in the region that focuses on promotion of public health nutrition, in partnership with government agencies and the private sector can contribute to the more effective implementation of public health nutrition measures.
    In cognizance of this, the Southeast Asia Public Health Nutrition (SEA-PHN) Network was set up with the aim of bringing together members interested in researching, applying and promoting public health nutrition among the population in the effort of alleviating the nutrition problems in the region. Initiated by the Nutrition Society of Malaysia, the SEA-PHN Network was officially launched by the Deputy Minister of Health, Malaysia, on 3 June 2014, in conjunction with NSM’s 29th Scientific Conference.
     
    There are currently five Members, namely Food and Nutrition Society of Indonesia, Nutrition Society of Malaysia, Nutrition Foundation of the Philippines, Inc., Nutrition Association of Thailand and Vietnam Nutrition Association. Six corporate companies are collaborating in the Network as Associate Members: Beneo GmbH, Danone Asia Pacific Holdings Pte Ltd, DuPont Nutrition & Health, Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd, Nestle Products Sdn Bhd and PepsiCo Asia Service Ltd. A council has been established to manage the activities of the Network.
     
    The main activities of the Network are: 1. Conduct annual meetings amongst members of the Network; 2. Interaction through a dedicated website; 3. Conduct collaborative projects amongst members of the Network and its partners; 4. Organise scientific meetings or conferences.
     
    It has been a busy and productive year. Several key milestones have been achieved by the Network since its establishment, less than a year after its official launch. A number of key activities planned during the meeting have been successfully implemented. Some are on-going activities, while others have been completed:
    • SEA-PHN Network 1st Annual Meeting on 2 June and official launch on 3 June during which the operational framework of the Network was confirmed, and election of the first Council of the Network was held. Several activities were recommended for implementation by the Network
    • Establishment of the SEA-PHN Network Website was completed. This serves as the main channel among Network members. It also serves as a portal for various health and nutrition reports and documents available in the member countries.
    • Compilation and analysis of Southeast Asia Countries’ Food-Based Dietary Guidelines (FBDGs) is near completion and a detailed report shall be uploaded on the Network website while a manuscript is being prepared for publication in an appropriate journal. It will serve as a useful resource for countries intending to update their FBDGs or for countries establishing a new FBDG.
    • Compilation and analysis of Southeast Asia Countries’ recommended nutrient intake (RNI)/recommended dietary allowances (RDA) is just commencing.

    Plans are being made to organise the 2nd meeting of the Network in June 2015, in Jakarta. The meeting shall also review progress of current projects as well as plan for a collaborative child nutrition promotion project.
     
    A dedicated website has been established to serve as the main channel of communication among Network members in between annual physical meetings and teleconferences (http://sea-phn.org). It shall serve as a platform for exchange of views and experiences on specific projects or topics. The website shall also serve as a repository of public health nutrition documents and activities to be uploaded by Network members. These include announcements of current and upcoming projects and scientific meetings, reports/abstracts of completed projects and scientific meetings, as well as relevant documents and publications from government agencies or member societies/associations.
     
  9. AFFILIATIONS
     
    In the report period, NSM continued to be affiliated with two international bodies and two national bodies, namely the Federation of Asian Nutrition Societies (FANS), International Union of Nutritional Sciences (IUNS). NSM became affiliated to a new network in 2014, namely the Southeast Asia Public Health Nutrition (SEA-PHN) Network.
     
    Within the country, NSM is affiliated to the Confederation of Scientific and Technological Associations in Malaysia (COSTAM) and Council on Obesity Prevention (MCOM) and the newly established Malaysian Confederation of Allied Health Professional Associations Malaysia.
     
    E-Siong Tee, PhD.
    President,
    Nutrition Society of Malaysia
     
    24 January 2015