By Ahmad Faizuddin
Today we are suffering from ‘lifestyle diseases’, especially from food. We tend to eat too much junk foods and the way we are eating is like the emperors of the old days. Hence, we suffer from obesity that could cause diabetes, heart problem and other health diseases.
A recent study by British medical journal, The Lancet, reported that the case of obesity in Malaysia is among the highest in Asia with 44% males and 49% females found to be obese.
Based on the population, Malaysian heavyweight was rated at 45.3%, followed by South Korea, Pakistan and China at 33.2%, 30.7% and 28.3% respectively. It is quite true when we see Form Two students are bigger in size than university students.
Most of us are passionate about delicious cuisines. They lead us to become unhealthy if we keep consuming creamy-sugary drinks, frothy-buttery breads, milky-spicy curries or oily noodle dishes without control.
It is true that old habits die-hard. Eating made us happy and sometimes it is of vital social and cultural importance. However, we should be aware that it also affects productivity and impacts on economic development. Thus, a stern action needs to be taken seriously.
According to Al-Ghazali, the desire of the stomach is one of the greatest of the mortal vices a man may harbour. Adam and Eve were expelled from the highest paradise because of such desire. Our belly is the very well spring of desires and the source of disorders.
As narrated by Abu Said Al-Khudri, Prophet Muhammad SAW once said, “Wear your clothes, and eat and drink up to the middle of your stomachs, for to do this is part of Prophethood.”
Thus, it is the tradition of all prophets to choose hunger without any exigency.
The tradition of the Prophet is to fill one-third of the belly with food, one-third with drink and one-third with air. To eat is a necessity, but do eat intelligently. Likewise, our heart only needs moderate food and drink. It is like a farmland. If it is watered excessively, the farm will die.
In the Torah, it is said that God loathes a corpulent divine. Corpulence and abundant indulgence in food are signs of heedlessness and obnoxious in the case of a divine.
Prophets Isa and Muhammad (peace be upon them) have the same saying when they warned the companions and disciples to cause their livers to hunger and bodies to go naked. In this way, the hearts may easily behold God.
Luqman al-Hakeem (circa 1100 BC), known as Luqman the Wise, once said to his son, “O my son! When the belly is full, then the intellect sleeps, wisdom is silenced, and members of the body are too slothful to perform any act of worship.”
Some of us might have access to food abundantly. But it is very unfortunate when we are still maintaining a culture of food wasting. In some countries, for example, a great wedding is determined not by how much we eat but by how much we throw away.
While some countries are in a severe need of foods, we enjoy touristic culinary. We are proud to post many kinds of delicious dishes on Facebook pages and other social media.
Nowadays, people respect others based on the foods they eat or the clothes they wear. The most important thing is we respect others based on their inner beauties. Simplicity is the key to change the world.
To live healthy we should build knowledge and decision-making capacity about global health issues. It is said that we do not have to eat less, but we have to eat right. Let us not chase the cuisine of France just to merely fulfil our desire. Challenge to control ourselves for a lifestyle change.***
Photo of Healthy Diet Advisor
The Writer is a Ph.D. student at Kulliyyah of Education, Educational Management and Leadership, International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM)