KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 1 2012 (Bernama) -- Malaysia will work closely with New York's Sackler Institute for Nutrition Science to combat the increasing trend of non-communicable diseases (NCD) such as obesity and diabetes among Malaysians, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Thursday.
He said the institute would provide Malaysia with the inputs on how to deal with overnutrition and undernutrition among Malaysians.
"We noticed a very alarming trend in terms of a faster-than-expected increase in NCD like obesity, diabetes and hypertension, which is a very worrying trend.
"The council (Global Science and Innovation Advisory Council (GSIAC)) provided us with some interesting views on how to deal with this. We also decided that through the council, we will work closely with the Sackler Institute for Nutrition Science," Najib told reporters after chairing the 2nd Inter-Sessional Meeting of the GSIAC, here.
Najib said it would be "a very exciting new cooperative arrangement that we will undertake".
The Sackler Institute for Nutrition Science was set up by the New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS) in partnership with the Mortimer D Sackler Foundation Inc and, among others, is dedicated to advancing nutrition science research and knowledge.
Present at the function were the president and chief executive officer of NYAS, Ellis Rubinstein, and Najib's science advisor and co-chairman of the Malaysian Industry Government Group for High Technology (Might) Prof Datuk Dr Zakri Abdul Hamid.
Among the guests attending the meeting were honorary treasurer and vice-president of the Royal Society Sir Peter William; former science advisor to the Prime Minister of Japan, Dr Kiyoshi Kurokawa; head of the Faculty of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotics co-chair, Singularity University, and former Nasa astronaut Dr Dan Barry; representative of the National Science Foundation Dr Sonia Ortega and representative of the Sackler Institute for Nutrition Science, Nabeeha Kazi.
Touching on GSIAC, Najib said what was important was that the world experts were fully committed to helping and partnering with Malaysia.
"As Ellis (Rubinstein) mentioned, we have assembled some of the best minds in the world because we believe that we need great and brilliant ideas.
"And these ideas are already there, they are already being developed in other parts of the world and in the minds of some of the great thinkers that we have assembled and they can provide us with the cutting-edge solutions and practical solutions," he said.
He said the formation of the GSIAC was a forum that would lead to a successful implementation of these ideas.
"And that had been proven in the two and half years since its inception; some of the ideas that we discussed earlier on have already been implemented," he said.