Integrating Psychiatric Assessment and Intervention in Managing Obesity in Malaysia

Nik Ruzyanei Nik Jaafar


Obesity is a “multisystemic disease in disguise” that has risen to  epidemic proportion in the last few decades. Malaysia is rated the highest in obesity among the Asian countries with a rate of 45.3%1. Nevertheless, many physicians disregard it  as a disease but rather a risk factor or complication. This perception risks failure to manage obesity effectively in a holistic manner and by a multidisciplinary team, ideally consisting of physicians, dieticians, physiotherapists, bariatic surgeons, and mental health professionals. Volkow and O’Brien (2007)2 proposed to consider that obesity a brain disorder. This underscores the idea that psychiatrists may have greater role in tackling obesity than currently perceived.

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