Grim reminders from exhibits highlight diabetes risks

The Eye Scream exhibit shows how indulging in a high-sugar snack like ice cream can increase one's risk of developing diabetes and its related complication of diabetic retinopathy, which can cause blindness. The Museum of the World's Deadliest Weapon
The Eye Scream exhibit shows how indulging in a high-sugar snack like ice cream can increase one's risk of developing diabetes and its related complication of diabetic retinopathy, which can cause blindness. The Museum of the World's Deadliest Weapons will showcase exhibits like this at Our Tampines Hub from tomorrow until Sunday.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

Rows of giant eyeballs sit atop ice cream cones, a barbecue pit stacked with salted human hearts, kidneys being roasted on a spit, and a coffin which opens up to reveal the contents of a refrigerator.

These macabre exhibits at the Museum of the World's Deadliest Weapons are part of efforts by the Health Promotion Board (HPB) to raise awareness about diabetes and the dangers of consuming too much sugar, salt and fat.

The exhibition was launched by Senior Minister of State for Health Amy Khor at the Raffles Place Park yesterday.

"The exhibition is aimed at jolting the public to re-examine any complacent attitudes that they may have about developing pre-diabetes or diabetes," said Dr Khor.

"It is meant to be both entertaining and educational, and has been designed with a grim twist to highlight some of the unexpected dangers in our everyday habits and lifestyle choices."

One of the exhibits, the Eye Scream, for example, is accompanied by a description of diabetic retinopathy, a common complication of diabetes in which blood vessels in the eye swell, rupture or leak fluids, causing distorted vision or blindness.

The barbecue pit highlights the damage that excessive salt intake can cause the heart and the danger of diabetes-induced kidney failure, while the Coffin Fridge exhibit shows how much sugar and fat are contained in common snacks and beverages.

 
 

A recent survey by the HPB found that one in four respondents mistakenly believed that people with diabetes should avoid exercising, Dr Khor said.

"This shows that there are still misconceptions about diabetes. We need to continue our efforts to reach out to more Singaporeans and educate them on diabetes prevention," she added.

The travelling exhibition will move to Our Tampines Hub tomorrow and be there until Sunday. It will then move to other shopping malls, workplaces and educational institutions around Singapore.

More details about the locations and timings of the exhibition can be found on the HPB's HealthHub website.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 30, 2019, with the headline 'Grim reminders from exhibits highlight diabetes risks'. Print Edition | Subscribe