We were discussing about food choices in the office and my colleague said to me “You’re lucky to have high metabolism.”
I said, “What? I don’t have a high metabolic rate. In fact, I gain weight easily.”
He looked surprised and I showed him a photo of what I used to look like five years ago.
It has been four and a half years since I cleaned up my diet, lost 10kg, and even wrote a simple e-book about how “Anyone Can Lose Weight“. I decided to lose weight largely out of vanity and frustration, but it was only later that I realized how beneficial it was to my health and preventing diabetes.
This month, our Singapore prime minister Lee Hsien Loong spoke about the diabetes epidemic in Singapore during the National Day Rally. Singapore has the second highest rate of diabetes in the developed world, and it is a big problem. And from Channelnewsasia:
Today, diabetes affects one in nine Singaporeans and among those over 60, three in 10 have diabetes. The onset of diabetes is also getting younger with each generation – overweight teenagers can now succumb to what was previously termed “adult-onset” or Type 2 diabetes, the most common form.
Last year when the spotlight began to focus on the diabetes problem, I dropped an email to the minister in charge and offered to provide feedback and suggestions. He routed me to another team in the health ministry and they sent me a thank you email to close the conversation without any further action.
Oh well, I’m not a “professional” expert on the topic, nor am I a doctor, so to our civil servants, what good would I be to the fight against this disease in Singapore?
Nevertheless, I’d like to share some thoughts on how the country is currently dealing with diabetes and offer some pragmatic suggestions.