Reduce sugar at all functions, Anwar directs ministries

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A person testing his blood for diabetes. Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim said reports show the highest incidence of diabetes in Asia is in Malaysia. (Envato Elements pic)

PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim today instructed all ministries to practise reducing sugar consumption at every gathering.

In his call on the people to reduce their intake of sugar, to avoid the risk of diabetes, Anwar also ordered all ministries to implement campaigns to reduce sugar in the diet of people.

“Reports show the highest incidence of diabetes in Asia is in Malaysia … this is not the health ministry’s issue alone.

“We should be a healthy country because Islam emphasises the need to look after our health, but Malaysia is number one in terms of diseases, due to the consumption of excessive sugar,” he said.

In his speech, when officiating the Rural Entrepreneurs Carnival KUD@Putrajaya 2023, here today, Anwar also asked entrepreneurs to help ensure controlled consumption of sugar.

On Thursday, health minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa said the findings of the National Health and Morbidity Survey 2019 found that the prevalence of diabetes in Malaysia is the highest in Southeast Asia, recording a significant increase from 11.2% in 2011 to 18.3% in 2019.

Zaliha said the ministry would launch a sugar advocacy plan in the near future.

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