12 April 2011

HULU LANGAT: Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today advised rural people and the Orang Asli to reduce their intake of sugar, saying the incidence of diabetes was also afflicting more people in the rural areas.

He attributed the trend to an unhealthy lifestyle and the consumption of food and drinks with high sugar content.

“Nowadays, we walk less, preferring to use the car more often. We are also frequently in a sedentary position. These make our bodies prone to ailments, such as diabetes,” he said when launching a health and diabetes screening and healthy lifestyle campaign organised by the National Diabetes Institute (NADI) and the Sime Darby Foundation, here.

Dr Mahathir said that by reducing the intake of sugar, the people would be able to stay healthy and cut down on expenditure in view of the rising price of the commodity.

Recalling his visit to a village when he was prime minister, Dr Mahathir said he saw villagers adding three spoonfuls of sugar to a cup of tea, which was too high.

Referring to the campaign, Dr Mahathir, who is the patron of NADI, said a team of doctors and nurses would make a tour of the rural areas and Orang Asli settlements to carry out the health screening.

“We will advise the villagers to adopt a healthy lifestyle and go for a medical examination at least once in six months. “The doctor will examine the urine to determine whether the glucose level is high, that’s all,” he said.

At the event, Dr Mahathir received a cheque for RM1.34 million from Sime Darby Foundation Chairman Tun Musa Hitam as a donation for the campaign, which would be carried out over a period of two years.

The team of doctors and nurses would move about in a four-wheel-drive vehicle and a truck modified as a mobile clinic. — Bernama

This article was published in www.nst.com.my on 20 February 2011.