Publication: Obesity prevention in Singapore: Collaborative efforts among government, health professionals and the community
Obesity has reached global epidemic proportions over the past 10 years. As countries become more affluent, their populations tend to adopt caloric balance problems that have plagued the USA and Western Europe. Obesity is classified as the second most serious reversible health problem, after smoking in the world today. The relationship between obesity and cardiovascular diseases is well documented. The increase in obesity in Asian countries is remarkable. In 2004, the prevalence of obesity in the adult population in Singapore increased upto 16% (high risk category: ≥ 27.5kg/m2) and prompted many forms of government action, encouraging collaboration between businesses, the educational system and non-governmental organizations. This paper reviews the rise of obesity in Singapore and some of the approaches being implemented to address this concern. Singapore, a multiethnic country, with Chinese, Indian and Malay populations, has to address diversity in customs, diet and religions to combat obesity. The collaborative efforts of various organizations such as the Ministry of Health (MOH), Ministry of Education (MOE) and the Health Promotion Board (HPB) have successfully improved the health status of Singaporeans. The fact that the rise in obesity in Singapore is lower than in other neighboring Asian countries attests to the partial success of the collaborative efforts.
Nidhi Gupta, Chin, M. K., Yang, J., Govindasamy Balasekaran, Chia, M., Girandola, R. N., Edginton, C. R., & Mok, M. M. C. (2010). Obesity prevention in Singapore: Collaborative efforts among government, health professionals and the community. Asian Journal of Exercise and Sports Science, 7(1), 61-70.