Diabetes is a silent killer and people all over the world have decided to grapple with this disease through improved lifestyle and awareness about this disease. Singapore too is on war with diabetes and has taken suggestions from the public that will be incorporated for making a holistic strategy to fight this disease. Indian community in Singapore is also at the risk of diabetes and awareness drive is being carried in the community.
People have given some suggestions including making healthy food and drink options more easily available, expanding fitness programmes in the community to make exercise more accessible and bringing diabetes screening to more workplaces and community venues.
These suggestions have been taken from the people who have taken part in the six-month long public engagement exercise in the war on diabetes.
The Singaporean government will educate the people about the various facets of the disease. It will roll out a campaign to nudge people towards making healthier choices in diet and exercise.
This will include commercials in four languages, and the campaign will run from now until March on various media platforms including television, online and outdoor installations. It highlights everyday choices that can be made, such as choosing water over sweetened beverages and having more fruits and vegetables instead of unhealthy snacks.
Indians living in Singapore are more prone to diabetes as a survey of 2010 showed that diabetes is the most prevalent among Indians ( 17.2 per cent) compared to Malays ( 16.6 per cent) and Chinese (9.7 per cent).
“Probably, it is the Indian diet which is responsible for this malaise. Indian diet which is typically high in carbohydrates and it tends to be eaten in large amounts. Common staples include rice, wheat based food such as chapatti and thosais, potatoes and pulses in large proportions”, opines Ms. Chau Sau Ling, a dietician at Natural Health care Polyclinics.
As Indians are at risk of diabetes. Therefore, they should visit a doctor for health check up. Dr. Kurumbian Chandran, Director of Endocrinology at Jurong Health advises “ Many people are unaware that they are at a high risk of contracting diabetes and sometime they don’t know the symptoms associated with it. I would encourage people to go for health screenings/ especially if you know that you have a family history of diabetes and /or you are obese.”