Obesity In Malaysia

Obesity is a complex, multifactorial condition in which excessive body fat accumulation causes adverse effects on health. The obesity epidemic is a serious health issue worldwide and Malaysia is no exception. The World Health Organisation (WHO) reported one in five Malaysian adults will be obese by 2025.


Obesity is measured through calculating Body Mass Index (BMI). In Asian BMI, a normal BMI is between 18.5 - 24.9. A BMI of over 30 is categorized as obese.

BMI Formula


Overall calculation of BMI.

Obesity Prone Health Risks

Obesity is commonly accompanied with a host of health complications. An obese individual faces a high risk of developing detrimental health diseases such as:-

  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Stroke
  • Cancer
  • Gall Stones
  • Depression and Social Isolation
  • Infertility
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

Symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea

  • Snoring during sleep
  • Restless disturbed sleep
  • Choking or apneic events, etc.

Did you know Obstructive Sleep Apnea is commonly linked with Obesity because fat deposition in the tissues surrounding the upper airway increases collapsibility, predisposing to a complete halt in airflow.

Journey to Weight Loss

There are two weight loss management approaches mainly non-surgical treatments and surgical treatments. Based on the diagnosis and severity of obesity, the consultant will advise as follows.


The non-surgical treatment is first recommended before considering going under the knife because Bariatric Surgery is an invasive surgery and it is only required for individuals facing life-threatening obesity.

After screening and consultation with our Weight management Centre (WMC) Specialists, a weight loss management plan will be crafted to determine which treatment is suitable for you. Tailored to your lifestyle and determination, WMC will be with you rach step of the way to ensure healthy weight loss and consistent follow-up plan.

Non-surgical Treatment

Individuals who opt for a non-surgical treatment of weight loss will go through a long-term program that involves a medically supervised diet and consistent exercise regime - paired with lifestyle education and ongoing motivational support.

Dietary Intervention

Clinical Deititian will introduce changes in nutrition and food intake habits. Closely monitoring calorific intake and changes in lifestyle behaviours will help achieve weight loss successfully. Strict adherence and self-management is very important for individuals undergoing dietary intervention.

For more info of our dietitian services, click here

Behavioural Intervention

Behavioural Specialist will first screen and diagnose any underlying behavioural conditions to help identify barriers to weight loss. Behavioural interventions include counseling about nutrition and exercise s well as education on self-monitoring to track habits.

Physical Exercise

Physiotherapist will create an rehabilitation exercise regime which promotes consistent exercise catered to each person's ability. Obese people are limited to the range of exercises they can perform. Aerobic exercises are suitable for obesity because they are low impact exercises which promote weight loss. Examples of aerobic exercises include brisk walking, water aerobics, lifting light weights, simple stretching, etc.


Prescription medications to treat obesity works in different ways. For example, some medications may help you feel less hungry or full sooner. Other medications may make it harder for your body to absorb fat from the foods you eat.

Endocrinologist can prescribe medication for obese patients based on their preexisting health conditions such as Type 2 Diabetes, hypertension, high blood pressure and many more, harder for your body to absorb fat from the foods you eat. Because Type 2 Diabetes is commonly linked to obesity, it is crucial to control blood sugar before focusing on weight loss. It is normally treated through oral anti-diabetic medication in combination with injectable agents such as insulin. There are many types of anti-diabetic medicine that helps to keep your blood sugar under control while also emphasizing on diet and exercise.

Surgical Treatment

Bariatric Surgery is recommended for individuals with BMI of over 40 and had unsuccessful weight loss efforts through diet and exercise. Surgery has proved successful long term results for treating severe obesity.

Bariatric Surgery offered at SMCV is minimally invasive, performed using the keyhole method which is essentially inserting surgical tools into three small incision holes measuring around 0.5 - 1.5 cm on the abdomen region. This method ensures speedy recovery and less surgical scars compared to traditional bariatric surgery.

Types of Bariatric Surgery

Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy


  • 80% - 85% of the stomach is divided and removed.
  • The remaining stomach is about the size of a banana which fits approximately 150ml - 200ml in volume.
  • After surgery, the amount of food intake will be limited. Ghrelin (a gut hormone that stimulates appetite, also known as the hunger hormone) in the stomach will also be significantly reduced after surgery.

Roux-En-Y Gastric Bypass


  • A small stomach pouch (A) is created by dividing the stomach completely.
  • The small intestine is divided and the upper end (C) is attached to the small pouch (A) whereas the lower end is attached to the bypassed duodenum (D).
  • The lower part of the stomach (B) remains intact.
  • Gastric bypass allows patients' body to absorb fewer calories. Early passage of food into the intestine triggers the release of GLP-1 and PYY which positively affect your metabolism and diabetes.
  • Mini gastric bypass is a variant of this surgery without the need to divide the small intestine.

Preparation before Bariatric Surgery

  • Abstain from smoking and consuming alcohol a week before surgery
  • Maintain current weight or lose some weight before surgery
  • Blood test, upper endoscopy and abdomen ultrasound
  • Dietary counseling by Dietitian

Post Bariatric Surgery

  • Recovery
  • Dietary progression guided by Dietitian
  • Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation
  • Regular exercise
  • Consistent follow-up

Improved Quality of Life

After weight loss, meeting the challenges once faced before becomes easier, benefits of weight loss include:-

  • Reduced health risks
  • Improvement in blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar
  • Improvement in blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar
  • Improves fertility
  • Better quality of sleep
  • Ability to exercise and participate in sports
  • Better mood
  • Improvement in self-esteem

What are you waiting for?

Begin your weight loss journey with Sunway Medical Centre Velocity's Weight Management Centre.

Individuals who are overweight or obese and are motivated to lose weight may arrange an appointment at SMCV's Weight Management Centre through self-referral or through a referral from a general physician.


Weight Management Centre (WMC)

The One Stop Centre for Weight Loss Management

Built with the focus of effective weight loss, Sunway Medical Centre Velocity's Weight Management Centre (WMC) comprises a team of medical professionals equipped to treat severe obesity through a holistic approach.

WMC Specialists

Bariatric Surgeon

Performs Invasive bariatric surgery which restructures digestive tract in order to limit the amount of food intake which promotes long-term weight loss.

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Manages the cause and complication of obesity through detailed metabolic and hormonal assessments, in preparation of bariatric surgery. Provides treatment for secondary causes of obesity such as Diabetes Type 2, with the prescription of medication and lifestyle changes. Post bariatric surgery review will also be conducted to ensure sustainable weight loss.

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Conducts pre-screening to detect any underlying behavioural health conditions such as depression of eating disorders. Manages expectations of weight loss journey to ensure positive motivation aligns with weight goal.

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Post-operation review and advise on post-operation exercises and regimes. Physiotherapist will plan a customized exercise plan catering each individual's abilities and work towards post-operation recovery.

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Provides education and support to cater to different nutritional needs for non-surgical treatment as well as before and after bariatric surgery. The Dietitian will create a personalised nutritional care plan for better compliance and provides necessary guidance in meal planning pre- and post-operation.

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Plastic Surgeon

Suggests skin augmentation surgery such as liposuction, tummy tuck, breast lift and many more for patients post bariatric surgery. To restore a natural appearance, loose skin from weight loss, is reduced and lifted to help you feel more comfortable and confident.

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Other Supporting Roles

  • Cardiologist
  • Gastroenterologist
  • Respiratory Physican
  • Pharmacist
  • Clinical Oncologist
  • Anaesthetist
  • Orthopaedic Physician
  • Pain Specialist
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