Forum: Multi-pronged efforts to promote healthier lifestyle

We thank Mr Nicholas Fong and Ms Lynn Neo Si Jie for their letters, "Vital to adopt healthier lifestyles in war on diabetes" and "Change in mindset needed to tackle diabetes" (both Aug 22).

We will strengthen efforts to support Singaporeans in adopting healthier lifestyles and preventing chronic diseases through Healthier SG, which is a major strategy to transform the healthcare system to emphasise preventive and primary care.

As part of Healthier SG, we are making healthier food options more affordable and accessible to Singaporeans. For example, the Health Promotion Board (HPB) supports food manufacturers and suppliers to develop healthier products, and partners food and beverage establishments to offer healthier meal options.

The upcoming mandatory nutrition labelling and advertising prohibition measures for prepacked Nutri-Grade beverages have also spurred the industry to reformulate its beverages to reduce sugar levels. We will also be stepping up efforts to reduce sugar in freshly prepared beverages.

We are promoting early detection and intervention via health screening. The Screen for Life programme offers subsidised screening and follow-up for chronic diseases, including diabetes. With Healthier SG, the programme will be further expanded and supported.

We recognise that good habits should be cultivated from a young age. The Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health and HPB are working together to find ways to better educate students on the importance of preventive care.

Tackling diabetes is a collective national effort. Health is ultimately a personal responsibility, and we encourage every Singaporean to take charge, make healthier choices and live healthier lifestyles.

Chow Wai Leng (Dr)

Director, Epidemiology and Disease Control

Ministry of Health

Terence Ng

Director, Policy and Strategy Development

Health Promotion Board

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