The World: Kuala Lumpur - Self-regulatory discussions start in Malaysia

Malaysia's ad industry has proposed a new system of self-regulation in order to head off a proposed government ban on fast-food ads.

Vincent Lee, the president of the Malaysian Association of Advertising Agencies, is to meet Chua Soi Lek, the country's health minister, who is contemplating a ban in order to tackle Malaysia's growing obesity problem.

Lee is to open talks with the minister on how the issue can be managed, and to look at regulations governing fast-food advertising in the US and Europe. However, he insisted: "Advertisers have little to fear at this stage."

Forty per cent of Malaysia's adult population is considered obese - a rise of 20 per cent over the past ten years. This makes the country's obesity level the highest in South-East Asia.