Diabetes Will Go Down When The Price of Sugar Goes Up. Agree?

It is no secret that Malaysians love sweet foods, and the rate of diabetes in Malaysia is one of the highest in the region. But as Malaysians struggle with the rising cost of living, is increasing the price of sugar the best method to curb diabetes?

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Budget 2014 announced that sugar price will increase by 34 sen starting 26 October 2013

Sugar price increases by 34 sen starting 26 October 2013

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The government has been encouraged to reduce the subsidy for sugar to curb diabetes amongst Malaysians

The government has been encouraged to reduce the subsidy for sugar to curb diabetes amongst Malaysians

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The government has been urged to reduce subsidy for sugar as a means to discourage people from using too much sugar in their food and drinks to reduce the danger of diabetes among Malaysians.

Price of sugar around the region.

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Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam says increasing the price of sugar will help control people's daily intake of sugar

Menteri cadang naik harga gula elak diabetes

Bernama reported Subramaniam saying sugar price increase would reduce the number of diabetic patients as people would reduce sugar consumption in their foods and beverages.

“The number of diabetic patients in the country has increased to 2.6 million or 15 percent of the total population. This is partly due to lack of control in the intake of sugar,” he told reporters.

Malaysians consume 26 teaspoons of sugar everyday, according to a 2005 survey.

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The price of sugar was last increased in RM2.50 on 29 September 2012

Sugar, a controlled commodity in Malaysia, is now selling at RM2.50 a kilogram. Since Jan 1, 2010 sugar price had been revised upward fives times, a whopping RM1.05 increase from RM1.45 a kilogram to RM2.50 on Sept 29, 2012 until now.

Sugar price in Malaysia

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The government has recently promised no increase in sugar or flour prices after the 2 September 2013 petrol price hike

Diabetes Will Go Down When the Price of Sugar Goes Up. Agree?

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Following the 20-sen hike in RON95 petrol and diesel on September 2 and a 15-sen increase in RON97 petrol two days later, Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Hasan Malek had promised that there would be no increase in prices for sugar and flour.

With 3.4 million or 14.9% diabetics in the nation, diabetes has been described as an 'epidemic' in Malaysia

Prevalence of diabetes in Malaysia

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An alarming 3.6 million adults are estimated to be affected by diabetes in Malaysia, according to the Obesity Prevention Council President, Jong Koi Chong.

Dr Ikram Shah said Malaysia had surpassed the World Health Organisation’s estimation of 807,000 diabetics in 2025.

Jong said compared to 2006 where only 8.6 per cent adults in Malaysia had diabetes, the most recent study done in 2011 showed 15.2 per cent adults were diabetic.

Based on the United Nations Statistics Division 2012, among Asean countries, Malaysia has the highest percentage of obese people in the population (ie with a body mass index, or BMI of above 30 kg/m²).

Understanding diabetes (Click for full view)

Diabetes 101 infographic

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Read also: Other recent subsidy cuts

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