NOTICE PAPER NO. 872
NOTICE OF QUESTION FOR ORAL ANSWER
FOR THE SITTING OF PARLIAMENT ON 10 JANUARY 2022
Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament
Ms Joan Pereira
MP for Tanjong Pagar GRC
Question No. 2194
To ask the Minister for Health (a) what are the main reasons that the Ministry’s five-year effort against diabetes has not managed to reduce the disease’s prevalence; and (b) whether the Ministry will implement new measures to prevent the rates from worsening such as through public education.
The War on Diabetes is a multi-year effort. With longer life expectancy and an ageing population, the incidence of diabetes will increase. Hence, while the recent National Population Health Survey showed an increase in the crude prevalence of diabetes from 8.8% in 2017 to 9.5% in 2020, after adjusting for the ageing effect of the population, the age-standardised prevalence of diabetes has remained stable over the same period at 7.9%. There is some progress in blunting a hitherto increasing trend.
However, obesity amongst children are rising, which is not a good sign. There are many possible contributory factors to this – a sedentary lifestyle, change of diet in the younger population, and effects of COVID-19. These are issues which we will have to tackle.
Ultimately, there needs to be a change in lifestyles, involving a healthier diet, being physically active, regular screening to detect pre-diabetes and timely intervention are key to preventing diabetes. To that end, the Health Promotion Board (HPB) has been mounting promotional campaigns, encouraging active lifestyle. We are implementing mandatory nutrition labels for less healthy pre-packaged sugar sweetened beverages, and encouraging individuals to come forward for regular screening.