The INFORMAS team in Malaysia is led by Professor Dr. Tilakavati Karupaiah at Taylor’s University. Two process modules of INFORMAS (public and private sector) have been implemented here, representing the first national food environment policy survey in Malaysia to be conducted. The Malaysia team was supported by INFORMAS module leaders, Prof. Boyd Swinburn, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Bridget Kelly, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Gary Sacks and Dr. Stefanie Vandevijvere. These activities came under an International Development Research Centre (IDRC) funded 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” and involved Malaysia, Vietnam, and Thailand. Ng See Hoe (William) was the PhD student/ Project Administrator for this project in Malaysia.
- Food-Environment Policy Index (Food-EPI) – Data collection for the public sector module started in August 2016 with a Food-EPI Expert Rating of policy evidence on 11th April 2017. Experts from non-government organisations (NGO), professional societies and academia were involved with the rating process. Early findings were disseminated at the ICN symposium in 2017 with country clearance and the Final Technical report was released on 23rd July 2018 by the Deputy Director-General of Health. The findings were also published in the Sept/October issue of the Public Health Nutrition [see output 5].
- Business Impact Assessment (BIA) – Obesity – Data collection for the private sector, commenced in early August 2017. The study adopted the INFORMAS protocol with adjustments to suit the Malaysian context such as (a) the establishment of Expert and Reviewer Panels to perform the assessment and formulate recommendations; (b) application of ‘simple majority rule’ in ratings; (c) random market surveys to complement the evidence collection for non-consenting companies. Later, findings were disseminated firstly in a closed-door meeting with the companies, followed by a public forum with the key stakeholders such as government stakeholders, professional organisations, NGOs and others on 29th July 2019. Post dissemination sessions included the official delivery of the full technical report completed in November 2019. The findings were published in the Globalization and Health [see output 14].
A new 3-year IDRC-funded research titled “Comparing the extent and nature of unhealthy food and drink TV marketing to girls and boys across nine countries in Asia” was secured with support from INFORMAS (Prof. Dr. Boyd Swinburn). The project is led by the Malaysia team (Prof. Dr. Tilakavati Karupaiah) with eight country teams, comprising Bangladesh, China, India, Mongolia, Nepal, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. This joint effort will aim to assess the exposure and power of TV food marketing in these countries and build critical country-level evidence of unhealthy food marketing targeting children. Evidence outcomes will inform relevant Asian stakeholders on local policy frameworks’ progress to control unhealthy food marketing and strengthen strategies to promote a healthier food environment for the Asian people. Four virtual capacity building sessions (due to COVID-19 pandemic) for the INFORMAS food promotion module – television protocol were organized during 2020 with Dr. Sally Mackay and A/Prof. Dr. Bridget Kelly as prime faculty and ably supported by William Ng. Data collection and coding are underway as per the reporting date.
We are also proud to report that our INFORMAS collaboration in Malaysia has produced one PhD scholar, Dr Ng See Hoe (William) from the University of Wollongong, Australia. (subject to only minor revisions received on 19th February 2021).
- People Involved
- Outputs Table
- Outputs (publications, reports, conference presentations)
Status (as of February 2021)
Public Sector (Food EPI)
||3-6, 8, 10-11|
||9-10, 12, 14|
|Food Composition||Not planning to be conducted at the moment||nil|
|Food Labelling||Not planning to be conducted at the moment||nil|
Social media/Facebook/ Sports sponsorship/ Magazines/ Internet/ Outdoor advertising: Not planning to be conducted at the moment
Contributed to a dataset for TV food advertising classified using WHO Europe Nutrient Profiling Scheme for a multi-country comparison. The article was published (refer to output 7).
|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|
- 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:1186/s12889-015-2392-z
- Ng SH, Kelly B, Se CH, 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:3402/gha.v7.25169
- Ng SH, Swinburn B, Kelly B, Vandevijvere S, Yeatman H, Ismail MN, Karupaiah T. Mapping the Extent of Implementation of Food Environment Policies from The Perspective of a Low-Middle Income Country-Malaysia. Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism. 2017, 71: 212-212. [Conference presentation].
- 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. [Technical Report – URL: https://auckland.figshare.com/articles/journal_contribution/Food-Environment_Policy_Index_Food-EPI_Benchmarking_current_policies_and_determining_priorities_for_future_policies_for_the_Malaysian_Government_2016-2017_/8251361].
- Ng SH, Swinburn B, Kelly B, Vandevijvere S, Yeatman H, Ismail MN, Karupaiah T. Extent of implementation of food environment policies by the Malaysian Government: Gaps and priority recommendations. Public Health Nutrition. 2018, 1-12. doi: 10.1017/S1368980018002379.
- Vandevijvere S, Barquera S, Caceres G, Corvalan C, Karupaiah T, Kroker‐Lobos MF, L’Abbé M, Ng SH, Phulkerd S, Ramirez‐Zea M, Rebello SA, Reyes M, Sacks G, María Sánchez Nóchez C, Sanchez K, Sanders D, Spires M, Swart R, Tangcharoensathien V, Tay Z, Taylor A, Tolentino‐Mayo L, Van Dam R, Vanderlee L, Watson F, Whitton C, Swinburn B. An 11‐country study to benchmark the implementation of recommended nutrition policies by national governments using the Healthy Food Environment Policy Index, 2015‐ Obesity Reviews 2019: 1-10. DOI: 10.1111/obr.12819.
- Kelly B, Vandevijvere S, Ng SH, Adams J, Allemandi L, Bahena‐Espina L, Barquera S, Boyland E, Calleja P, Carmona‐Garcés IC, Castronuovo L, Cauchi D, Correa T, Corvalán C, Cosenza‐Quintana EL, Fernández‐Escobar C, González‐Zapata LI, Halford J, Jaichuen N, Jensen ML, Karupaiah T, Kaur A, Kroker‐Lobos MF, Mchiza Z, Miklavec K, Parker W, Kent MP, Pravst I, Ramírez‐Zea M, Reiff S, Reyes M, Royo‐Bordonada MA, Rueangsom P, Scarborough P, Tiscornia MV, Tolentino‐Mayo L, Wate J, White M, Zamora‐Corrales I, Zeng L, Swinburn B. Global benchmarking of children’s exposure to television advertising of unhealthy foods and beverages across 22 countries. Obesity Reviews 2019: 1-13. DOI: 10.1111/obr.12840.
- Ng SH, Kelly B, Yeatman H, Swinburn B, Vandevijvere S, Noor MI, Karupaiah T. Mapping nutrition labelling policies in Malaysia. PMAC Conference 29 Jan – 3 Feb 2019. [Poster presentation – Poster Slot E06, http://pmac2019.com/site/poster].
- Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia 2019, Benchmarking Food Industry Commitments for to Create a Healthier Food Environment: Business Impact Assessment (BIA) – Obesity Malaysia 2019, UKM Cetak: Bangi, Selangor. [Technical Report – https://doi.org/10.17608/k6.auckland.12084969 and Executive Summary – https://doi.org/10.17608/k6.auckland.12085044]
- Ng, SH, Kelly, B, Yeatman, H, Swinburn, B, Vandevijvere, S, Noor, MI & Karupaiah, T. A case study on nutrition labelling of packaged foods in Malaysia. World Public Health Nutrition Congress 2020, 1 May – 5 June 2020 (virtual event) [Oral presentation, rapid-fire, Congress Day 2, 3D Effective food labelling, standards & regulation, 11.49am-11.55am].
- Ng, SH, Kelly, B, Yeatman, H, Swinburn, B, Vandevijvere, S, Noor, MI & Karupaiah, T. Mapping Progress to Targets for Unhealthy Food Marketing to Children in Malaysia. World Public Health Nutrition Congress 2020, 1 May – 5 June 2020 (virtual event) [Oral presentation, rapid-fire, Congress Day 1, 2D Advertising and marketing to children, 2.42pm-2.48pm].
- Karupaiah, T, Ng, SH, Chinna, K, Noor, MI, Sacks, G, Kelly, B, Yeatman, H, Robinson, E, Swinburn, B & Vandevijvere, S. Business Impact Assessment (BIA)-Obesity Malaysia: Benchmarking top food industries’ commitments and disclosures. World Public Health Nutrition Congress 2020, 1 May – 5 June 2020 (virtual event) [Oral presentation, rapid-fire, Congress Day 2, 2E Food industry roles, responsibilities & impacts, 2.56pm-3.02pm].
- Sacks, G, Vanderlee, L, Robinson, E, Vandevijvere, S, Cameron, AJ, Mhurchu, CN, Lee, A, Ng, SH, Karupaiah, T, Vergeer, L, L’Abbé, M, Swinburn, B. BIA‐Obesity (Business Impact Assessment—Obesity and population‐level nutrition): A tool and process to assess food company policies and commitments related to obesity prevention and population nutrition at the national level. Obesity Reviews 2019, 20(S2):78-89. doi:10.1111/obr.12878
- Ng, SH, Sacks, G, Kelly, B, Yeatman, H, Robinson, E, Swinburn, B, Vandevijvere, S, Chinna, K, Ismail, MN, Karupaiah, T. Benchmarking the transparency, comprehensiveness and specificity of population nutrition commitments of major food companies in Malaysia. Globalization and Health 2020, 16:35. doi:10.1186/s12992-020-00560-9
- Ng, SH, Kelly, B, Yeatman, H, Swinburn, B, Karupaiah, T. Tracking Progress from Policy Development to Implementation: A Case Study on Adoption of Mandatory Regulation for Nutrition Labelling in Malaysia. Nutrients 2021, 13(2):457. doi:10.3390/nu13020457
- International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada
- Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship (PhD scholarship at University of Wollongong for candidate Ng See Hoe (William) starting from 2016-2021)
- School of Healthcare Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Malaysia (in-kind contribution – infrastructure and facilities support)
- Early Start Research Institute, School of Health & Society, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Wollongong, Australia (in-kind contribution – infrastructure and facilities support for PhD student)