Malaysiakini News

I was 10 and taunted over my weight

Humans of Kuala Lumpur  |  Published:  |  Modified:

One in five Malaysians are obese, the latest statistics show, making the country the fattest in the region.

That translates to about five million obese Malaysians.

It was not always like that.

Just two decades ago, just above four percent of Malaysians fell into the obese category.

Officials blame rapid urbanisation, which brought with it a sedentary lifestyle and high-calorie diets.

Obesity is also a growing concern among Malaysian children.

Ameeza Rokhaza’ain talks to Humans of Kuala Lumpur about her battle with weight.

“I was actually fat before. I was a fat kid. Then I lost 16 kilos in four months.

“I wasn't depressed about it, no. But my brother, he was like, ‘You're fat.’ He was constantly telling me, ‘You're fat.’

“So I though, ‘Damn, I have to do something about it.’

“I decided to work out on my own, started to gain interest in fitness, reading health magazines and I lost those 16 kilos in four months.

“I was so thin but in a healthy way, until people couldn’t recognise me because before that I was this fat chubby kid in primary school.

“Ever since I got to my ideal weight, I have been into sports.

“My first sport was netball and that was how I lost those 16 kilograms when I was 10.

“I mean, other kids were eating candies and chewing chocolate, too, and I mean you're 10, who the hell cares, right? But I cared about it.

“I still struggle with food because I love to eat.

“But I balance it out by exercising three to five times a week because caring for your body is the greatest investment you can make.”


This story was first published on the HUMANS OF KUALA LUMPUR Facebook page. In this photography project, Mushamir Mustafa takes pictures of random people in Kuala Lumpur, who tell him a story from their lives. It features on Malaysiakini every weekend.

Previously featured:

‘Will I lose my virginity if I use a tampon?’

A story about embracing macha-ness and being yourself

How to raise cosmopolitan children in Malaysia

My Malay children and their Chinese heritage

From corporate high-flyer to taxi driver

RM1 here, RM2 there, watchman helps pay drivers' parking fees

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