SINGAPORE - Two new one-day courses on nutrition have been launched by Temasek Polytechnic (TP), reinforcing Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's rallying call for Singaporeans to take care of their health and make lifestyle changes.
On Saturday (Aug 26), one such course - titled nutrition therapy for the prevention and management of diabetes - was held for some 15 participants, including healthcare professionals and caregivers.
Dr Kalpana Bhaskaran, domain lead for applied nutrition and glycaemic index research at TP, said the course will help educate the public to adopt healthy eating in preventing of diabetes and other chronic diseases.
"The backbone of any nation depends on the health of its people," said the senior lecturer. "If we are strong and are not prone to any diseases, then our government need not spend a huge sum on fighting the complications of diabetes, most of which are debilitating."
On Saturday, participants learnt about healthier food choices when eating out, picked up carbohydrate counting and meal planning tips, and also got to cook dishes using healthier ingredients such as brown rice.
The new course on diabetes comes against the backdrop of Mr Lee's National Day Rally speech last Sunday (Aug 20), where he highlighted the chronic ailment as a health crisis.
In his speech, he advised Singaporeans to get their health checked, exercise more and watch what they eat, so as to reduce their diabetes risk.
Roughly 400,000 Singapore residents have diabetes, and a significant proportion of them do not even know it.
Diabetes also becomes more prevalent as people age, and is estimated to affect nearly a third of Singaporeans aged over 60.
Its complications can range from kidney failure to blindness and even impotency in men.
The other short course offered by TP - titled nutrition for optimum health - covers basic nutrition, weight management and menu planning strategies, and provides recommendations to optimise exercise performance.
Ms Ling Tan, 39, who was at Saturday's course on nutrition therapy for the prevention and management of diabetes, said she is hoping to kick some habits such as indulging in desserts and cakes.
"The course has given me basic nutrition knowledge as well as an insight into preparing healthier meals," she said.
Fees for the nutrition therapy for the prevention and management of diabetes course are $214 for the public, and $114 for Singaporeans aged 50 and up. For the nutrition for optimum health course, the fee is $267.50.
Individuals who are interested in the courses can sign up online. Both courses will be conducted four times a year.