“Reduce Sugar Intake at every Gathering” - Prime Minister, Anwar

Published on 11 December 2023

Minister of Health, Dr Zaliha Mustafa indicated that the National Health and Morbidity Survey 2019 found that the prevalence of diabetes in Malaysia was the highest in Southeast Asia, recording a significant increase from 11.2% in 2011 to 18.3% in 2019.

This alarming statistic prompted our Prime Minister, Anuar Ibrahim to urge all ministers to reduce sugar intake during any gathering or function, addressing this critical problem that will impact the new generation in Malaysia.

Notably, diabetes is one of the three well-known chronic diseases, alongside hypertension and heart disease. Complications arising from diabetes, without proper care, can lead to chronic kidney disease, adding an additional burden to individuals.

Every health issue has a way to prevent it from occurring because, as we know, prevention is better than the cure. While a cure may require extra costs, prevention can be assimilated into our lifestyle. Here is the secret to preventing any disease worldwide that people often neglect: a healthy lifestyle.

Main Core - Food Intake

It is undeniable that maintaining a proper balanced diet is becoming a challenge for us.

"Healthy food is expensive."

"If only I had time to prepare food at home."

"It's hard to find healthy food resources."

This results in many people opting for undesirable choices such as fast food because it's fast and convenient. We believe that every petrol station will have a fast-food store for citizens.

A balanced diet refers to food intake (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) with complete nutrients from carbohydrates, protein, and fat. By following MyHealthy Plate Malaysia, we should consume a portion of 1/4 portion of carbohydrates, 1/4 portion of protein, and 1/2 portion of vegetables. However, most of us consume carbohydrates and protein simultaneously, neglecting the vegetable portion.

Additionally, with improper food proportions, Malaysian citizens often consume soft beverages and high-sugar beverages, whether in a mall or mamak, without considering the long-term effects.

Disclaimer: It's not that you cannot drink sugary beverages, and it shouldn't be banned in Malaysia. Instead, individuals should limit their desires and intake, and awareness is crucial.

While it's commendable that the Prime Minister introduced a new strategy to limit sugar during functions, it becomes effective only if individuals can restrain themselves. What if they order sugary beverages and bring them to the function?

In short, it's something we cannot entirely control. Still, raising awareness and instigating changes from within is the way to cope with this issue.

Diabetes is a condition where the sugar level in the blood is higher than normal, and if left uncontrolled, it can lead to other unwanted complications such as heart disease, chronic kidney disease, nerve damage, and more.

It's up to you to choose: limit sugar intake and eat healthily, or suffer from diseases and need to limit:

  1. Sugar intake if you have diabetes
  2. Water and protein intake if you have chronic kidney disease
  3. If the situation worsens, you might need to endure insulin implementation as well as dialysis.

The choice is in your hands. Choose a healthy and happier future, or suffer the consequences of past choices.

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