Stress, Obesity Are KL’s Most Pressing Health Concerns

Kuala Lumpur City Hall: Stress and Obesity Are KL’s Biggest Health Issues

The City Hall of Kuala Lumpur (DBKL) has pinpointed two of the biggest health issues plaguing the Malaysian capital: stress and obesity.

DBKL health and environment senior deputy director Dr. Nor Halizam Ismail said as much in an interview with CodeBlue last March 16. To promote an active lifestyle and improve the mental state of the capital’s residents, the agency has implemented car-free Sundays, dedicated cycling lanes, and use of public parks.

Dr. Ismail, however, said that when it comes to weight problems, all the agency can do is provide ways for people to keep people moving. “Obesity – we don’t have the power to tell people not to eat, but we can only provide services, like cycling lanes, parks, for an active lifestyle,” she said.

DBKL executive director for planning Sulaiman Mohamed went into detail about the amenities available to KL residents. He said there are 27 public parks, 18 kilometres of walkways, and 62 electric buses for the Go KL initiative.

He also dispersed the perception that Go KL usually services foreigners, stating that 80% of the traffic comprises locals for the first-mile journey and 60% for the last-mile leg.

Regarding environmental health, Dr. Ismail said DBKL ensures restaurants maintain good hygienic practices and that their workers are vaccinated against typhoid. She also said they are working to widen the number of areas considered smoke-free zones.

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