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HPB campaign encourages kids to 'drink water rather than sugary soda'

Schools pitch message to kids in bid to fight rise of obesity-linked diabetes

Published on Aug 31, 2012 6:00 AM
(From left) Dr Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, Mr Ang and pre-school teacher Siti Nadiah Adnan joining K2 children in a toast with water during the launch of the Let's Drink Water Campaign by the Health Promotion Board at a pre-school in Yishun on Thursday. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND LIM

Children are being encouraged to drink water rather than sugary sodas in a new campaign launched in schools to battle the alarming rise among the young of diabetes linked to obesity.

About half of child and teenage diabetics here have Type 2 diabetes, which is linked to diet and lifestyle, up from 10 per cent in 1999.

This is a cause for concern, said Mr Ang Hak Seng, chief executive officer of the Health Promotion Board, which is leading the campaign.

The Diabetic Society of Singapore (DSS) estimated in 2007 that 600 children and teenagers here have diabetes. No other more recent figures are available.

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It is important we get them on board with very good dietary habits early on. If you start early, it becomes part of their habit and part of their lives.

- Dr Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Transport