GEORGE TOWN, Nov 14 (Bernama) -- In conjunction with World Diabetes Day, the Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) is proposing that the government raises the price of white sugar to RM5 per kilogramme (kg).
CAP president SM Mohamed Idris said Malaysia should find a more holistic approach to solve the problem of obesity among the population as diabetes in Malaysia was expected to climb at an increased rate due to Malaysians’ unhealthy lifestyle and unbalanced diet.
He said according to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), there were nearly 3.5 million diabetes cases reported in Malaysia since 2017 and the prevalence of diabetes in adults in the country was 16.9 per cent.
“Compared to the daily sugar limit of six tablespoons, we (Malaysians) consume 21 teaspoons of sugar daily, which means 630 teaspoons per month, which makes us one of the highest sugar users in the world,” he said in a press conference, here today.
Describing sugar as ‘a poison worse than cigarette’, he said diabetes could cause severe organ damage to its sufferers, which included blindness, kidney failure, cardiac arrest and nerve damage and diabetes he said was ‘the mother of all diseases’.
Mohamed Idris also stressed that due to regular monitoring and cost of insulin injection, the treatment for diabetes were expensive and could potentially drive families into poverty.
“As the saying goes ‘prevention is better than cure’, we (Malaysians) should practice controlling our sugar intake by having a balance diet and living a healthy lifestyle,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mohamed Idris also urged the Health Ministry to have the traffic light system for food labels to indicate the unhealthy levels of sugar, salt and fats and banned vending machines in schools, hospitals and other public areas.
The World Diabetes Day, which was marked on Nov 14, was created in 1991 by IDF and the World Health Organisation in response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat posed by diabetes.