According to Singapore Health Statistics, Diabetes is the 10th leading cause of death in Singapore accounting for 1.7 per cent of total deaths in 2016.
The projected number of diabetics by 2030 is 600 000. Armed with the latest statistics, the Singapore government decided to adopt a multi-pronged and comprehensive strategy to manage diabetes on five fronts. This includes prevention, screening, disease management, public education and stakeholder engagement. This falls as part of a whole-of-nation approach towards supporting Singaporeans with Diabetes.
In our efforts to support the government’s initiative, Singapore Nutrition and Dietetics Association (SNDA) released a joint position statement with Health Promotion Board (HPB), a statutory board under Ministry of Health (MOH), advocating wholegrain consumption as one of the key approaches towards diabetes prevention and management. The report discussed the evidence of dietary carbohydrates in the management of diabetes and the urgency to move from secondary management to primary prevention at the population level.
The report also deliberated the need to move beyond addressing simple sugars to address the role of starchy refined staples and whole grains in our diet, as part of chronic disease management. The disparity between obesity and diabetes in Asia, with diet quality being a risk factor of diabetes, independent of obesity has been addressed. The association also organized a symposium on whole grains for the health professional working in school, hospital and industries.
Ms Tan Chew Sia (2nd from the right) and Ms Karishma Surtani (1st from the right) Dietitians from SNDA educating public on reading food labels.
Another initiative that SNDA took part in reaching to the public was the World Diabetes Day 2016. The association was invited by Diabetic Society of Singapore (DSS) to set up a series of activities and host educational talks to educate and empower the public in preventing and managing Diabetes. The educational talks were delivered by our Dietitians who spoke on the topic of ‘Eating Right to Beat Diabetes’ in both Mandarin and English. The activities were developed by students from the Diploma in Applied Food Science and Nutrition, Temasek Polytechnic and Diploma in Nutrition, Health & Wellness, Singapore Polytechnic under the guidance from Dietitians and Nutritionists from SNDA.
The activities included a virtual supermarket tour and games public in choosing healthier. food and label reading.
Students from Temasek Polytechnic (1st and 2nd from left) discussing the amount of sugar in bottled drinks with the Minster for Health, Mr. Gan Kim Yong and Ms Gladys Wong, Chief Dietitian of Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (1st from right).
As the government continues its initiative to prevent and manage diabetes in the population, SNDA will continue to offer support with our nutritionists and dietitians working in tandem towards creating a healthier Singapore
Kejendran and Karishma
(Singapore Nutrition and Dietetics Association, Event Subcommittee Chairpersons)