HPB launches Singapore's first national-level weight management scheme

Participants weighing in at some of the many machines available to check their Body Mass Index. Singapore's first national-level weight management initiative was launched on Saturday, March 15, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO
Participants weighing in at some of the many machines available to check their Body Mass Index. Singapore's first national-level weight management initiative was launched on Saturday, March 15, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO

Singapore's first national-level weight management initiative was launched on Saturday.

An initiative of the Health Promotion Board (HPB), the One Million KG Challenge is designed to link incentives directly to the outcome of losing excess weight, and aims to get Singapore residents to lose 1,000,000 kg collectively in three years.

It is open to residents here aged 18 to 64, whose Body Mass Index (BMI) ranges from 18.5 to 37.4. To calculate BMI, divide your weight in kilograms by the square of your height in metres.

Singapore's obesity prevalence has increased 0.7 percentage point a year since 2004 to reach nearly 11 per cent in 2010.

The National Health Survey 2010 shows that 1.7 million Singaporeans with a BMI of 23 or greater are vulnerable to developing obesity-related diseases such as diabetes and heart diseases.

Participants whose BMI falls between 23 and 37.4 - an unhealthy range with moderate to high risks - could pledge to lose 3kg in the Challenge, over at least four weeks. Those with BMIs in the 18.5 to 22.9 range - low risk - could use the programme to help them maintain their weight. HPB hopes to round up 300,000 participants over three years.