Are Malaysians’ favourite breakfasts providing sufficient nutrients for the nation? This was the pertinent question Dutch Lady PureFarm, attempted to answer at its breakfast campaign launch recently, following a feast of Malaysian breakfast favourites including nasi lemak and mee goreng.
Ashlee Ng, Marketing Director of Dutch Lady Malaysia highlighted the importance for Malaysian families to get sufficient essential nutrients from daily breakfast to help them start the day strong. “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day as it is the first meal we eat after 8 to 12 hours from our last meal. Depriving our bodies of nutrients for as long as 12 hours means our brain lacks energy when we wake up. Our metabolism also needs food to kick-start itself into action,” said Ng.
“As such, the breakfast we consume needs to provide sufficient essential nutrients to help us meet our daily nutrient intake as recommended by the Ministry of Health. It also needs to provide a balance of macro and micronutrients, including carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals,” she added.
Professor Dr. Poh Bee Koon of Faculty of Health Sciences, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, who led the SEANUTS Malaysia survey also reported that a third of Malaysian children do not consume breakfast on a daily basis, which makes it all the more important that breakfast foods are selected wisely. Her team analysed seven popular breakfasts to see if they provide sufficient amounts of energy, protein, vitamins A, B2 and D, and calcium to meet 20 to 25% of recommended energy and nutrient intake for both adults and children.
According to Professor Poh, the study took cues from MyBreakfast Study of School Children to identify the most commonly consumed foods in the morning amongst Malaysian children, and the ingredients and portions of the breakfasts analysed were according to the Malaysian Dietary Guidelines. The seven commonly consumed Malaysian breakfasts analysed were nasi lemak, mee goreng, nasi goreng, roti canai, roti telur or French toast, sardines sandwich, and a combination of curry puff and two kuih.
“Analysis of these common Malaysian breakfasts shows they do not supply enough essential nutrients to meet 20 to 25% of daily recommended nutrient intake (RNI) for both adults and children. For adults, these breakfasts fall short of protein, vitamin D, calcium and energy which is important to help them start their day; and for children, they are lacking in vitamin D and calcium, which are essential for healthy bone growth and development” remarked Prof. Poh.
The low levels of vitamin D and calcium is also reflected in two surveys that shows Malaysian adults and children are lacking these nutrients in their food intake. According to the South East Asian Nutrition Survey (SEANUTS), nearly 50% of children in Malaysia do not meet calcium and vitamin D needs; and the Malaysian Adults Nutritional Survey 2014 indicates adults’ intake of major micronutrients such as calcium, iron, vitamins A and C, is less than two-thirds of the RNI by the Ministry of Health. More worrying is the findings from the SEANUTS survey which showed that Malaysian children drink on average only half a serving of milk a day, and that only a mere 5% of children actually meets the recommended 2 servings of milk daily, which could have helped them meet calcium and vitamin D needs.
However, when these breakfasts were consumed together with a 250ml serving of Dutch Lady PureFarm milk, the ideal 20 – 25% of daily nutrition intake could easily be met.
Dutch Lady PureFarm milk contains the following essential nutrients to help give Malaysian families a strong start every morning:
Protein helps to build and repair tissue so that our muscles work in good condition;
Vitamin A allows our eyes to function properly and helps us stay focused and alert, both at school and at work;
Vitamin B2 supports the release of energy from carbohydrates, fats and proteins;
Vitamin D aids the absorption and utilisation of calcium and phosphorus; and
Calcium is the key for the growth and development of strong bones and teeth for children, and helps adults maintain a healthy bone mass 13 for an active lifestyle.
For more information about how a glass of Dutch Lady PureFarm milk can help you meet your required nutrient intake, go to Dutch Lady Malaysia Facebook at www.facebook.com/spread.the.goodness.of.milk or www.dutchlady.com.my.