Sugar tax may reduce diabetes rate — doctor
KOTA KINABALU: The implementation of the sugar tax may pave the way for the reduction of diabetes rate in the country.
As diabetes remains to be a growing concern among Malaysians, the Sabah Health Department welcomed the sugar tax implementation and expressed its hope that the tax would reduce sugar consumption among Malaysians.
“With the new sugar tax that will be enforced next year, we are hopeful that it will help prevent diabetes from escalating,” said Chief Assistant Director of Sabah Health Department Non Contagious Disease Control Unit, Dr Nirmal Kaur.
Speaking at the 2018 World Diabetes Day celebration opening yesterday, Nirmala disclosed that, according to the National Health Morbidity Survey (NHMS) data, among adults aged 18 and above, 17.5 per cent within the estimated population of 3.5 million people have diabetes in which 8.3 per cent was diagnosed to have the disease while 9.2 per cent was undiagnosed.
During the tabling of the 2019 National Budget, Federal Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng announced the sugar tax would be implemented on April 1 2019.
The excise duty at 40 sen per litre would be introduced to two types of sugary drinks that are manufactured in ready-to-drink packaging.
It is understood that the tax will be implemented on beverages that contain sugar exceeding five grams per 100ml as well as fruits and vegetable juices containing sugar more than 12grams per 100ml.
The decision was made following a study by the Health Ministry, which found that nearly one in two Malaysians are either overweight or obese.
“Over 425 million people are diabetic and by 2020, one in five adults is estimated to suffer from the disease,” she added.
Yesterday’s event was held in collaboration with Diabetes Malaysia Sabah Branch aimed at raising awareness on the impact of the disease.
Among those present were Diabetes Malaysia Sabah Branch president Dr Tay Eong Beok, Family Medical Specialist of Luyang Health Clinic Dr Shakirah Abd Mokti and UMS Consultant Paediatrician Prof Dr Kew Seih Teck.