Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Oh sugar!

A campaign in the NST today says “Be a smart consumer, take less sugar, lead healthier lifestyle.”

(More than one in every ten Malaysians suffer from diabetes)

Do you think this ad campaign reflects how caring our government is?

Think again!

The ad is initiated by the Ministry of Domestic Trade & Consumer Affairs. Why not the Ministry of Health? This comes about due to current problems with the supply of sugar throughout the country.

So, is it a health problem or a supply challenge?

Strange, (but hey, this is Malaysia) that the government cannot even control “controlled items” as basic as sugar. I sense there is a strong lobby by the (sugar) industry to put pressure on the government for a price hike, just like everything else as a result of a dominos effect from the sharp increase of the price of oil recently. (but, the government already issued a statement which was totally against basic economics principles. I cannot believe it!)

The Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs should check with the Minister of Health, on what are the main causes of diabetes in Malaysia. Sugar is one thing, but what about complex sugar such as carbohydrate, obesity, lack of exercise and unhealthy diet?


Type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes develops when the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas have been destroyed. Nobody knows for sure why these cells have been damaged but the most likely cause is an abnormal reaction of the body to the cells. This may be triggered by a viral or other infection. This type of diabetes generally affects younger people. Both sexes are affected equally.

Type 2 diabetes
Type 2 develops when the body can still make some insulin, but not enough, or when the insulin that is produced does not work properly (known as insulin resistance). In most cases this is linked with being overweight. This type of diabetes usually appears in people over the age of 40, though in South Asian and African-Caribbean people it often appears after the age of 25.

Since we are on the subject, I got this from diabetes site:

Some things that do NOT cause diabetes:
Eating sweets or the wrong kind of food does not cause diabetes
• Stress does not cause diabetes although it make may symptoms worse in people who already have the condition
• You cannot catch diabetes from somebody, nor can you give it to anyone.

The people most at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes are:
People with a family history of diabetes
• People aged between 40 and 75
• People of Asian or African-Caribbean origin
• People who are very overweight
• Women who have given birth to a large baby

Mr. Minister, perhaps you could look at other factors in the value-chain of sugar industry. Don’t deprive the population from their sweet tooth. Don’t expect us to change our lifestyle just because you cannot meet the equilibrium in your supply and demand.

Is this another one of those TAK NAK campaigns which bound to fail after spending heaps of tax payers money?

I heard from the grapevine that the price of rice will be up too, come September. I can’t confirm it, but lets just wait and see how far does these dominos are going to ripple.