Incentivise diabetics to lose weight

A sugar tax alone will, of course, have little impact on the effective containment of diabetes as no single measure will, but every little bit helps (Sugar tax alone will have little impact: Diabetes expert; Nov 26).

The fight against the much more common Type 2 diabetes is mainly a fight against carbohydrates, which are metabolised as sugar - the main culprit of excessive body weight and obesity.

Every kilogram lost carries with it objective benefits in the treatment of diabetes.

Motivating and incentivising diabetics to lose weight, over and above a sugar tax, will be of immense help.

Eating the correct type and amount of carbohydrates while increasing daily activity is a good start.

Weight loss and biochemical parameters can be measured in clinics and the Government can reward diabetics who have lost weight with more grants, which the sugar tax can help fund.

While there is cheap medicine that works effectively for diabetics, some of these drugs do cause them to put on weight.

The fight against the much more common Type 2 diabetes is mainly a fight against carbohydrates, which are metabolised as sugar - the main culprit of excessive body weight and obesity. Every kilogram lost carries with it objective benefits in the treatment of diabetes.

Branded, newer and far more expensive drugs work by separate physiological mechanisms and also promote weight loss with cardio-protective effects.

Incentivising patients to lose weight with more grants and giving them better medicine where needed make for a virtuous cycle that provides increasing positive outcomes.

Yik Keng Yeong (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 28, 2018, with the headline 'Incentivise diabetics to lose weight'. Print Edition | Subscribe