My favorite principal in Malaysia


by Dr. Jim Sallis

I recently had an opportunity to visit Malaysia, to speak at the International Conference on Obesity and have meetings with collaborators. As part of tours of potential neighborhoods for an IPEN Adolescent study (, we visited a high school in Kuala Lumpur. The school was buzzing with activity due to a girls’ handball tournament after school. Handball is like soccer except you use the hands. Unexpectedly we were invited to meet the principal. While meeting with the principal we told her we were interested in physical activity. She immediately launched into a passionate endorsement of the importance of physical activity in school. She said it was essential to have a balance of movement and academics. She also said that physical activity helps students with their academic studies.

It was such a treat to hear this kind of enthusiasm for physical activity from a principal. I wish I heard this point of view more often in the US. She understood that children need to move and the brain and body are connected.

–  Jim Sallis

Here’s a picture of our group:


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