Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences


The Country team for INFORMAS in Malaysia is led by Prof Dr Tilakavati Karuapaiah. Two process modules of INFORMAS (public and private sector) are in the process of implementation for the very first time. Our team is conducting the first national survey in Malaysia on food environment policy, benchmarked against international best practice.

The Malaysia team is supported by INFORMAS module leaders Prof Dr Boyd Swinburn, Dr Bridget Kelly and Dr Stefanie Vandevijvere as the third party organisation in a joint collaboration. The project is also simultaneously executed in Vietnam. We are funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and our project is titled, “Mapping the implementation of priority food environment policies to tackle diet-related non-communicable diseases in South-East Asia: Comparison between three countries”. Therefore this INFORMAS partnership is leading to a multi-country level study involving not just Malaysia and Vietnam, but also engaging with Thailand as a third party comparator. The Malaysia country team has also on board Prof Dr Mohd Ismail Noor who is Malaysia’s eminent obesity expert and Ng See Hoe (William) who is the PhD student/ Project Administrator for this project.

The data collection for the public sector began in August 2016, and we are looking ahead in 2017 to the presentation of the project findings at the Food Environment Policy Index Expert Rating (FEER) Workshop. FEER will involve independent experts from non-government organisations (NGO), professional societies and academia. The Malaysia team will hopefully analyse the data, report to stakeholders and write up publications by the end of 2017.

Acknowledgements / Funders

  • International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada
  • Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship (PhD scholarship at University of Wollongong for candidate Ng See Hoe (William) starting from July 2016)
  • School of Healthcare Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Malaysia (in-kind contribution – infrastructure and facilities support)
  • Early Start Research Institute, School of Health & Society, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Wollongong, Australia (in-kind contribution – infrastructure and facilities support for PhD student)
Picture of Tilly Karu

Professor Dr. Tilakavati Karupaiah

School of Healthcare Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

Phone: +60392897245, mobile (hp)+60192731400

Email: tilly_karu@yahoo.co.uk  / tilly@ukm.edu.my


Status (as of 01/17) Outputs
Public Sector (Food EPI) - Verification of statements prepared by researchers prior to official dissemination to expert panel by the Ministry of Health and other related Ministries.
- Planning to conduct Food-EPI Expert Rating (FEER) Workshop in early April 2017.
Private Sector Planning (to be conducted as second phase of the IDRC project once Food-EPI completed)
Food Composition Not planning to be conducted at the moment nil
Food Labelling Not planning to be conducted at the moment nil
Food Promotion

- Television: data collection completed

- Social media/Facebook/ Sports sponsorship/ Magazines/ Internet/ Outdoor advertising: Not planning to be conducted at the moment

Food Prices Not planning to be conducted at the moment nil
Food Retail Not planning to be conducted at the moment nil
Food Provision Not planning to be conducted at the moment nil
Food Trade & Investment Not planning to be conducted at the moment nil


Outputs (publications, reports, conference presentations)

  1. Ng SH, Kelly B, Se CH, Sahathevan S, Chinna K, Ismail MN, Karupaiah, T. Reading the mind of children in response to food advertising: A cross-sectional study of Malaysian schoolchildren's attitudes towards food and beverages advertising on television. BMC Public Health. 2015; 15: 1047. doi: 10.1186/s12889-015-2392-z
  2. Ng H, Kelly B, Hee SC, Chinna K, Jamil SM, Shanthi K, Noor IM, Karupaiah T. Obesogenic television food advertising to children in Malaysia: Sociocultural variations. Journal of Global Health Action. 2014, 7: 25169, doi: 10.3402/gha.v7.25169