It's not just soft drinks we need to worry about

Lowering the sugar content of soft drinks in the fight against diabetes is a good first step.

But kopitiam coffee (with sugar and condensed milk), fresh fruit juice, three-in-one coffee mix and bubble tea all contain massive amounts of sugar too.

Sugar is also hidden in many local dishes - for example, nasi lemak, chwee kueh and gulab jamun (deep-fried milk ball in syrup).

The copious amount of rice we consume eventually converts to sugar too.

To reduce the risk of diabetes at the national level, an enormous multi-pronged, holistic and coordinated approach is needed. A sedentary lifestyle should also be addressed.

Demonising soft drinks alone addresses only one component of the problem, not the problem in its entirety.

Michael Loh Toon Seng (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 25, 2017, with the headline 'It's not just soft drinks we need to worry about'. Print Edition | Subscribe