SINGAPORE – Nine in 10 Singaporeans are consuming too much salt, and the rate of hypertension has almost doubled since 2010, latest data show.
More than a third of people now suffer from high blood pressure, raising the danger of heart disease and stroke.
And adding to their health risks, people are eating more and moving less.
“As of now, we are not winning the battle on lifestyles,” said Health Minister Ong Ye Kung on Wednesday.
“Chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension and high blood cholesterol are consequences of our lifestyles, especially eating habits,” said Mr Ong.
“We are what we eat. Food can be medicine if we eat well, but it can be poison if we do not,” he said at the launch of Project Reset, a major cardiovascular research project.
It is a five-year government-funded research initiative seeking to gain a deeper understanding about the population’s metabolism, heart and liver health, as well as lifestyle behaviour, to prevent heart diseases including heart attack and stroke.
According to the latest national health and nutrition report cards for Singapore released on Wednesday, salt intake rose from 3,480mg in 2019 to 3,620mg in 2022, far beyond the recommended daily allowance of 2,000mg.
Over three in five people (61 per cent) have surpassed their calorie intake in 2022, compared to more than one in two (55 per cent) in 2019. When it comes to getting physical, only about seven in 10 (74.9 per cent) in 2022 were up and active, compared with more than eight in 10 (84.6 per cent) in 2019.
But there is some good news: The war on sugar seems to be having an impact, with diabetes and high cholesterol figures down a shade.
Nonetheless, an average of six people are diagnosed with kidney failure each day and require dialysis – a major cause of this is diabetes.
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