Do more to make brown rice available at hawker centres

Mr Paul Chan Poh Hoi's suggestion to get more people to drink water is very good indeed (Fight diabetes? Get more people to drink plain water; Sept 18).

Another important area to consider is white rice and our consumption of it.

White rice has a high glycaemic index and quickly converts to sugar.

But although more people are now aware of the high glycaemic index property of white rice, there is little that can be done if you want a healthier option at hawker centres, as nothing can usually be found.

It is perhaps time for the Health Promotion Board (HPB) to take more concrete action.

Asking hawkers to provide a brown rice alternative has not been very effective.

Besides subsidising brown rice, could the HPB look into more direct action, such as having a free or cheaper brown rice station at all hawker centres? It can be made more palatable by adding healthier ingredients.

I believe this can be done with grassroots community support. I believe the national benefits in reduced healthcare cost in the longer run will outweigh the cost of implementing such a scheme.

Tan Huang Meng