Feature Article
Singapore Nutrition and Dietetics Association (SNDA)‘s role in the “War on Diabetes in Singapore:  A multi-Pronged and Whole-of-Society Approach Towards Winning”
  • Diabetes is a serious health problem in Singapore affecting 1 out 9 Singaporeans.  Health Minister of Singapore, Mr Gan Kim Yong declared the War on Diabetes and a new task force was set up in 2016. The key strategic thrusts involved healthy living, better disease management, early detection and intervention, public education and stakeholder engagement.
    SNDA is actively involved in the initiatives of two strategic thrusts: healthy living and public education respectively. Our President, Ms Izabela Kerner and Vice President, Dr Kalpana Bhaskaran were invited, to a dialogue session on measures to reduce sugar intake from pre-packaged sugar-sweetened beverage in January 2019. This session was held with the Minister of State and involved government agencies such as Ministry of Health (MOH), Health Promotion Board (HPB), and other relevant

    Dr Kalpana Bhaskaran, Vice President of SNDA, speaking on the association’s role in Winning the War on Diabetes at The Asian Congress of Nutrition, Bali, Indonesia (3-7th August 2019). 

    The SNDA Metabolic Syndrome Interest Group Members gathered at one of the public forums organised by Diabetes Society of Singapore to educate the public on sugar content in local beverages.  insert pic
    Furthermore, SNDA members have been invited to a working group to offer expert advice with regards to dietary management of Diabetes.

    One of the activities includes the development of the National Diabetes Reference Material. This is a resource for people with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes respectively. Our members offered expert advice on the dietary management of Diabetes for this resource.  

    Professional Development Opportunities 
    Our Continuing Education team organized a variety of educational opportunities and hands-on workshops to meet our member’s professional learning needs.  

    Dietary Management of IBS/Functional Disorder 4th May 2019 
    Our Members were privileged to host the Monash FODMAPS Team from Australia, Consultant Gastroenterologist, Clinical Psychologist and a Local Singapore Dietitian to conduct an exciting participatory workshop focused on management of individuals with IBS/Functional Disorders. 
    It is a challenge to follow a FODMAP diet in Singapore given the wide variety of foods and ingredients used in the local cuisine. To broaden the knowledge, our members developed a local list of the top eating tips on how to follow a FODMAP diet whilst living or visiting Singapore.

    Exercise is Medicine (EIMS) Exercise Prescription Course 18th & 25th May 2019
    Our Members took on the challenge to acquire new knowledge and expand their ability to support patients as they journey towards a healthy lifestyle through the EIMS Course. Held as a 2-day workshop, “Exercise is Medicine Singapore” is a programme aimed to make physical activity and exercise a standard part of preventing and treating diseases. 

    It draws its principles from the “Exercise is Medicine” global initiative by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).  Individuals who have successfully completed the course are now qualified to prescribe exercise safely and effectively counsel, implement and lead exercise programmes for patient in collaboration with the patient’s physician.

    SNDA will continue to uphold the professional standards of the Nutrition and Dietetics community. In addition, we will work closely with relevant stakeholders to support public health promotion, and education efforts to activate our community in making positive food choices. 

    Karishma J. Surtani
    Main Committee Member of Singapore Nutrition and Dietetics Association