GEORGE TOWN, Nov 14 — It may not be sweet sounding but the Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) has an important message for Malaysians — adopt a healthy lifestyle to keep diabetes away.
In conjunction with World Diabetes Day today, CAP issued statistics showing that the incidence of diabetes has reached worrying levels in Malaysia, with the country topping the charts in Southeast Asia and placing sixth in the West Pacific Region.
CAP president Mohideen Abdul Kader said despite various campaigns to prevent diabetes especially type two diabetes, the disease had hit epidemic proportions in Malaysia.
“According to the National Health and Morbidity Survey 2019 (NHMS 2019), one in five adults or about 3.9 million residents aged above 18 years were suffering from diabetes. The incidence of diabetes has risen to 18.3 per cent, from only one to two per cent in 1960.
“According to the Malaysian Social Statistics Bulletin 2019, diabetes was one of the 10 major causes of death in 2018. It is a chronic disease that can be prevented, and for those who have contracted it, diabetes can be managed, slowed and rid of its complications by practising a healthy lifestyle and eating nutritious food,” he said in a statement.
He said the prevalence of diabetes in Malaysia was expected to rise due to unhealthy lifestyles like overeating, excessive consumption of sugar, salt and meat, poor dietary habits, and lack of exercise, sleep and rest.
CAP also urged the Health Ministry and other relevant parties to step up efforts to educate the people on the dangers of obesity and diabetes.