Malaysia’s longest-running heart health walk attracts more than 2,000 Malaysians young and old
KUALA LUMPUR, 28th September 2014 — More than 2,000 participants comprising of individuals and families both young and old walked a mile (1.5km) towards healthier hearts at the 2014 World Heart Day Walk-A-Mile event, Malaysia’s longest-running walk for heart health advocacy, jointly organised by Yayasan Jantung Malaysia (YJM) and NESTLÉ® OMEGA PLUS®.
Held annually in conjunction with World Heart Day, the 2014 Walk-A-Mile event is currently running in its 13th consecutive year – its longevity making it the most supported and celebrated heart health walk event in Malaysia. Its success also marks the sustained and successful partnership between YJM and NESTLÉ® OMEGA PLUS®, having collaborated to co-organise the walk for the past 13 years.
Since 2001, participation has continued to grow from year to year. By utilising social media platforms such as Facebook for registration this year, Walk-A-Mile was able to double its number of participants from 1,200 participants in 2013 to over 2,000 participants in 2014! More importantly, the participants comprise of Malaysians young and old from all walks of life, and sees a significant number of families participating together.
The 2014 Walk-A-Mile is centred on the World Heart Day’s theme of ‘At the Heart of Health’, with the aim of raising awareness amongst Malaysians to adopt heart healthy lifestyles and make more careful decisions about their diet towards lowering bad cholesterol levels as well as ensuring that people are able to make heart-healthy choices wherever they live, work and play.
Pledging his support towards making heart-healthy choices, Yang Amat Berbahagia Tun Ahmad Sarji bin Abdul Hamid President, Yayasan Jantung Malaysia (YJM) officiated the event before proceeding to walk alongside the participants.
“As heart diseases have continued to rise through the years, it has become more critical than ever to advocate heart healthy lifestyles not only for ourselves but also to our family and friends,” said Tun Ahmad Sarji. “I believe strongly in the values behind the World Heart Day Walk-A-Mile because possessing knowledge sometimes is not enough. We must take action and small steps in our diet and activities to ensure our hearts are healthy until we grow old.”
Other notable guests who took part in the walk include Datuk Dr J.S. Sambhi, Chairman of YJM; Dato' Dr Rosli Mohd Ali, President, National Heart Association of Malaysia; and Mr. Alois Hofbauer, Region Head Nestlé Malaysia and Singapore.
Datuk Dr J.S. Sambhi, Chairman of YJM, underlined the growing risk of cardiovascular disease amongst Malaysians. “According to the National Health and Morbidity Survey 2011, statistics, Coronary Heart Disease is the no.1 killer in Malaysia, accounting for 25.4% of the total mortality rate. Hence, YJM believes that there needs to be a great urgency to cultivate environments where Malaysians can make healthier choices to mitigate risks of cardiovascular diseases. We find it highly encouraging that more than 2,000 have turned up today and hope to grow this cause in years to come,” he said.
This year’s Walk-A-Mile event concept was redesigned to provide participants a fresh and educational experience, which included fun facts and heart health tips along the route. In addition to the walk, a new Family Fun Route was introduced, whereby there were numerous games stations which were not only educational, but was also fun and engaging for the entire family to learn more about caring for their hearts.
“In line with NESTLÉ® OMEGA PLUS® mission to be the most trusted heart health advocator, the collaboration with YJM for this Walk-A-Mile event is a great opportunity to reach and empower Malaysians to take charge and care for their heart. Participating in today’s Walk-A-Mile event is already the first step in making a difference for our hearts. Small simple steps such as taking the stairs, cutting down on fried foods as well as drinking two glasses of NESTLÉ® OMEGA PLUS® daily to manage cholesterol goes a long way in caring for your heart” said Alois Hofbauer, Region Head Nestlé Malaysia and Singapore.
Participants were also treated to free health screenings, live stage performances, lucky draws, and free samples of NESTLÉ® OMEGA PLUS®, which contains ACTICOL® , plant sterols which is scientifically proven to lower blood cholesterol levels.
Mr. Hofbauer also presented a cheque from NESTLÉ® OMEGA PLUS® totalling RM30,000 to Datuk Dr J.S. Sambhi, Chairman of Yayasan Jantung Malaysia towards the continuous support on the efforts and dedication of YJM to the education of the public on heart health matters.
Held annually on 29th September, the World Heart Day is the largest global awareness and advocacy campaign on heart disease and stroke, and is celebrated in over 120 countries through organised events and media outreach programmes as it provides unique opportunity to position cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) at the heart of Malaysians’ priorities – in health and beyond.
For more information on Yayasan Jantung Malaysia (YJM) and NESTLÉ® OMEGA PLUS®, please visit http://www.yjm.org.my and https://www.facebook.com/NestleOmegaPlus. For more information on World Heart Day, visit http://www.world-heart-federation.org/.
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