Module 2: Ulam & Public Health

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Prof. Dr. Suzana Shahar

Prof. Dr. Suzana Shahar

SUZANA SHAHAR is currently the Dean of Faculty of Health Sciences, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM). She is a Professor and Founder of Centre for Healthy Ageing and Wellness (H-Care), Faculty of Health Sciences, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM). She has 30 years’ experience in conducting research in epidemiology of ageing and nutrition, nutritional neuroscience, public health in nutrition and dietetics. She is also an honorary member of Malaysian Dietitians’ Association

Course Description & Organisation

4.1. Description:

This subject is an introduction to public health and the health benefits of ulam intake. It is designed to provide students with relevant foundational knowledge on public health, so they can be more health conscious and leading to behaviour change towards healthy eating and lifestyle. 


4.2. Organisation:

4 sessions of 2 hours weekly.

  • Each session is broken down into 6 micro modules of 20 minutes each.
  • Each micro module reflects one core idea and one learning objective.

Course’s Objectives

This short course aims at introducing public health In Malaysia, and the health benefits of local edible flora or “ulam” in human health and nutrition.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  1. Understand the epidemiology of public health diseases and the roles of diet and nutrition. 
  2. Identify factors and consequences of public health diseases In Malaysia  
  3. Understand the relationship between fruits and vegetables intake with public health diseases and the ways to increase the intake.  
  4. Understand the health benefits of ulam Intake to prevent and combat diseases

Teaching Method

  • Lecture (presential and online) > 30%
  • Applications (workshop, case studies) > 70%

Assessment Details

The breakdown of the assessment modalities is as follows:

  • Continuous Assessment (CA): 40%
  • Final Assessment (FA): 60%


Details are shown here below.

  • Continuous Assessment (CA)

CA is conducted at the end of each session in the form of 1 brief online Quiz.  CA is worth 40% of the total assessment, i.e., 10% worth per session.

  • Final Assessment (FA) 

FA is conducted at the end of the module, and comprises 2 modalities, cumulating to 60% of the overall assessment: 

  • Comprehensive Quiz that recapitulates knowledge acquired throughout sessions 1, 2, 3 and 4: worth 20%.
  • Group assignment: worth 40%.

Detailed course contents and time allocation

Session 1: Public health and nutrition (2 hours)

  • Topic 1 – Obesity  
  • Topic 2 – Malnutrition
  • Topic 3 – Other public health diseases (Diabetes, Hypertension, Hypercholesterolemia, cancer, dementia) 
  • Topic 4 – Basic nutrition recommendation for obesity
  • Topic 5 – Basic nutrition recommendation for malnutrition
  • Topic 6 – Basic nutrition recommendation for public health diseases


Session 2: Vegetables and fruits intake: Is it necessary? (2 hours)

  • Topic 1 – Trends of vegetables and fruits Intake in Malaysia  
  • Topic 2 – Importance of vegetables and fruits for human health 
  • Topic 3 – Recommended Intake of vegetables and fruits
  • Topic 4 – Case study 1: Identify the issues and strategies how to incorporate vegetables in menu
  • Topic 5 – Presentation for case study 1
  • Topic 6 – Analysis and discussion: innovation and strategies to increase awareness and consumption of vegetables


 Session 3: Talking Professionally About Edible Flora : Ulam (2 hours)

  • Topic 1 – Patterns of ulam intake in Malaysia and benefits of ulam to human health
  • Topic 2 – Effects of storage and cooking on ulam’s nutrient content
  • Topic 3 – Dosage of ulam intake for public health diseases
  • Topic 4 – Workshop 1: Physiological barriers to consume ulam, how do you tackle this? 
  • Topic 5 – Workshop 2: The condiments with ulam? And how do you incorporate ulam in your meal?
  • Topic 6 – Discuss on Topic 4 and 5


SESSION 4 Assignments: How to increase ulam consumption at individual, family and community levels? (2 hours)

  • Topic 1-3 Group discussion
  • Topic 4-5 Presentation 
  • Topic 6 Feedback


SESSION 5: Online Quiz + Group Assignment

References for this Course

  • 8.1 Indicative Reading

National Coordinating Committee on Food and Nutrition. 2017. Malaysia Recommended Nutrient Intake. Putrajaya: Ministry of Health Malaysia.

National Coordinating Committee on Food and Nutrition. 2021. Malaysian Dietary Guidelines 2021. Putrajaya: Ministry of Health Malaysia.

Raymond, J.L. and Morrow, K., 2021. Krause and Mahan’s Food and the Nutrition Care Process 1st South East Asian Edition. Singapore: Elsevier.

Samy, J & Sugumaran, M. & Lee L.W. Kate.; Wong, K.M. (ed.). 2014. Useful Herbs of Malaysia and Singapore. An introduction to their medicinal, culinary, aromatic, and cosmetic uses. Singapore: Marshall Cavendish.

Wan Hassan, Wan Embong. 2010. Ulam: Salad Herbs of Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur: Masbe Sdn Bhd.


  • 8.2 Webography, Videography and other media

Database – Plant for a future:

Textbook – An introduction to nutrition:

Market and Recipe by the Ulam School:

Wild Edible Plants and Jungle Survival:

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General Information

  • Subject name: Public health and health benefits of ulam
  • Micro-credentials / number of credits: 
  • Contact hours: 8 hours (presential mode: hours / online: hours)

Entry Requirements




Total Hours

8 hours

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