Healthy-living drive goes online to gather more views

Dr Lam said the online option is to help those who are unable to find time for face-to-face focus group discussions.
Dr Lam said the online option is to help those who are unable to find time for face-to-face focus group discussions.

To get the public's views on how to promote healthy living among the young, an eight-week-long online consultation was launched yesterday.

It is part of overall engagement efforts by the inter-agency NurtureSG taskforce announced last month, which aims to improve the health of Singapore's youth.

"We understand that if we only have face-to-face focus groups discussions, definitely some parents won't be able to find the time," said Minister of State for Health Lam Pin Min, who co-chairs NurtureSG along with Minister of State for Education and Communications & Information Janil Puthucheary.

The online consultation form can be found on the Ministry of Health website, where the public can also sign up for face-to-face discussions.

After public consultation this year, the taskforce will discuss the findings and expects to submit recommendations next year. It will focus on areas including nutrition, exercise, myopia, mental resilience and dental health, said Dr Lam.

"But along the way, during the consultation process, if we see that there are certain areas that warrant our attention, we will be happy to include those as well," he added.

He was speaking to reporters at the first face-to-face engagement session at Anchorvale Community Centre, targeted at parents and caregivers of pre-school children.

Among the 35 participants were Mr Rathina Sabapathy, who works in IT, and his wife.

"We're mainly concerned about the issue of obesity and dental health," he said, adding that their three-year-old daughter is healthy.

Upcoming sessions will focus on getting views from parents and caregivers of primary and secondary school students.

Besides parents and caregivers, the task force will also work with educators and food establishments such as school canteen operators.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 25, 2016, with the headline 'Healthy-living drive goes online to gather more views'. Print Edition | Subscribe