Friday, July 16, 2010


Last night, the Prime Minister announced the removal of many subsidies, including the removal of the sugar subsidy.
We have always advocated a reduced sugar diet, in an attempt to reduce the many dangerous chronic lifestyle diseases that so burden the healthcare delivery system. Obesity, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, strokes, heart attacks, and some even claim cancers, can be reduced, if we consume less sugar. In this matter of reducing sugar subsidy, so that Malaysians hopefully will consume less sugar, we must support the Prime Minister. Even he must lose weight. In 2009, Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad announced that Malaysia is the 8th largest consumer of sugar in Asia. 7 out of every 10 Malaysian adult suffer from some form of adult lifestyle disease. We have the 4th highest incidence of diabetes in Asia, and the numbers are growing. In 2007 there were estimated 800,000 diabetics in Malaysia, and in 2010, that number has climbed to 1.3 million. According to the National Health and Morbidity Study, the prevalence of diabetes in 1986 is 6.3%, 1996 8.3% and in 2006 14.9%. As we all know, diabetes, hypertension and obesity are cousins. They travel together and they cause heart disease, strokes and kidney diseas. There are 6 strokes occuring in the country, every hour.
We take in 26 teaspoonful of sugar every day ( how did we do that? ). No, none of us take in naked white sugar, but we consume carbonated drinks ( 7-10 teaspoonful of sugar ), teh tarik ( 10-12 teaspoonful of sugar ), packet fruit juices ( 7-10 teaspoonful of sugar ). My standard challenge to my patients to convince them is to ask them to spill some coca cola on to the table and touch in with their fingers to feel the amount of sugar in the sticky drink.
I believe that I have made my point.
It is equally important, if not more important to know that physiological speaking, we do not need any of these sugars. we are drinking just for fun. We can live happily and healthily without any of these added sugars. It just all go to making us more fat and diabetic and hypertensive.
I sure hope that we will all be more healthy and richer, if we take in less sugar. Richer, not just from saving 25cents per kilo of sugar, but richer in terms of less chronic lifestyle diseases and saving of medical bills, which can come to alot.
In this, we fully support the Prime Minister.

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