Country team for INFORMAS in Malaysia is lead by Professor Dr. Tilakavati Karuapaiah. Two process modules of INFORMAS (public and private sector) are been implemented in Malaysia into the first Malaysia survey on food environment policy to be benchmarked against international best practice.

The Malaysia team is supported by INFORMAS,  Prof. Boyd Swinburn, Dr. Bridget Kelly and Dr. Stefanie Vandevijvere in the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) project titled, “Mapping the implementation of priority food environment policies to tackle diet-related non-communicable diseases in South-East Asia: Comparison between three countries”. This is a multi-country study involving Malaysia, Vietnam, and Thailand, in collaboration with INFORMAS. The local Malaysia team members include Prof. Dr. Mohd Ismail Noor and Ng See Hoe (William). William is the PhD student/Project Aministrator engaged for this project in Malaysia.

The data collection for public sector assessment began in August 2016, and completed by February 2017. We conducted the first Food-EPI Expert Rating Workshop on 11th April 2017. This Workshop brought together independent, non-government organisations (NGO), professional societies and academia. The rating was compiled into a technical report which received country clearance to present at the ICN symposium under INFORMAS. The Malaysia team has now completed publication of the technical report. We are seeking an official date for its launch by the director-general of the Ministry of Health, Malaysia.

The next stage of data collection which covers the private sector is in progress. A training workshop was organised for 7-8th August 2017 for Vietnam and Malaysia teams and data collection is underway.  The Business Impact Assessment training will be lead by Dr Gary Sacks from INFORMAS

Professor Dr. Tilakavati KarupaiahProfessor Dr. Tilakavati Karupaiah

Professor & Head of Dietetics Program

School of Healthcare Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

Phone: +60392897245, mobile (hp)+60192731400  /


Status (as of December 2018)

Public Sector (Food EPI)
  • Food-EPI Finished.
  • Malaysia Food-EPI Report released.
  • Manuscript in review.
Private Sector
  • The IDRC Midterm Training Workshop to cover private sector assessment on 7-8thAugust 2017. Dr. Gary Sacks is will be the Lead Faculty to provide training on private sector assessment (Business Impact Assessment (BIA) – Obesity; Corporate Political Activities). Representatives from Vietnam (n=3) and Thailand (n=1) will attend the training workshop in Malaysia.
  • Malaysia team will initiate data collection for the 2nd phase on the private sector per the protocols discussed with Gary in September 2017.
  • Through the workshop, 33 companies were finalised to be assessed under BIA-Obesity.
  • Engagement begun with the industrial associations such as Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) in mid-October 2017. Through a series of engagements, support to approach FMM members in early January 2018 has been obtained
  • Engagement with food and beverage companies in progress. Aim to finalise the BIA-Obesity evidence reports by July 2018 and proceed to rating in end-July 2018.
  • A visit with Assoc. Prof. Dr. Gary Sacks to discuss about the BIA-Obesity rating is planned. Considering forming a rating Panel consisting of local and international experts to perform the independent ratings and suggest priority recommendations.
Food Composition Not planning to be conducted at the moment nil
Food Labelling Not planning to be conducted at the moment nil
Food Promotion
  • Television: data collection completed
  • Social media/Facebook/ Sports sponsorship/ Magazines/ Internet/ Outdoor advertising: Not planning to be conducted at the moment
  • Contributed a dataset for TV food advertising classified using WHO Nutrient Profiling Scheme for a multi-countries comparison.
Food Prices Not planning to be conducted at the moment nil
Food Retail Not planning to be conducted at the moment nil
Food Provision Not planning to be conducted at the moment nil
Food Trade & Investment Not planning to be conducted at the moment nil
  1. Ng SH, Kelly B, Se CH, Sahathevan S, Chinna K, Ismail MN, Karupaiah, T. Reading the mind of children in response to food advertising: A cross-sectional study of Malaysian schoolchildren’s attitudes towards food and beverages advertising on television. BMC Public Health. 2015; 15: 1047. doi: 10.1186/s12889-015-2392-z
  2. Ng H, Kelly B, Hee SC, Chinna K, Jamil SM, Shanthi K, Noor IM, Karupaiah T. Obesogenic television food advertising to children in Malaysia: Sociocultural variations. Journal of Global Health Action. 2014, 7: 25169, doi: 10.3402/gha.v7.25169
  3. Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia 2018, Food-Environment Policy Index (Food-EPI): Benchmarking Current Policies and Determining Priorities for Future Policies for the Malaysian Government 2016-2017, UKM Cetak: Bangi, Selangor.
  4. Malaysia Food-EPI Report
  • International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada.
  • School of Healthcare Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Malaysia.
  • Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship for granting a PhD scholarship at University of Wollongong for Ng See Hoe (William).
  • Early Start Research Institute, School of Health & Society, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Wollongong, Australia.
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