A Cup Half Full

Uploaded by MOHSingapore on 26.11.2010

Keeping the population healthy and providing them with worldclass healthcare
require very different strategies.
Providing excellent healthcare means investing in doctors, nurses, hospitals and clinics
and we have done well in this area.
Keeping the population healthy, however,
requires ground-up mass community participation.
It is much more challenging.
It requires Singaporeans to take ownership of their own health
And we have made some progress.
For example, 1 in 4 hawkers now use cooking oil with reduced saturated fat.
40% of Singaporeans ask for less gravy, less sauce or less oil
in their dishes, when eating out in hawker centres.
But the cup is not yet full.
Not all Singaporeans have yet fully embraced a healthy lifestyle.
While more people are exercising, only 1 in 5 do so regularly.
1 in 2 Singaporeans do not exercise at all.
I particularly worry about rising obesity among Singaporeans.
Our obesity prevalence has now hit 11%.
I worry because obesity is closely linked to diabetes, heart attacks and strokes.
Not surprisingly, our diabetes prevalence rate has also gone up, to 11%.
The increase is seen across all ages, in both genders and the major ethnic groups.
While this is also a global trend, we must try to buck the trend.
We must step up our efforts to reverse, if not at least arrest, this rising obesity trend.
Our work with schools, workplaces and food courts to provide healthy and lower-caloric dishes must continue.
We will extend these upstream, to childcare centres, targeting parents of pre-schoolers.
We will henceforth conduct household surveys on obesity more frequently,
at two-yearly intervals instead of six.
We must keep a tight pulse on the trends, so that we can refine our policies promptly.