Press Release
January 31, 2010

Pia advises 'sweet-toothed' Pinoys: Time to reduce sugar consumption

As world and local sugar prices climb to record-high levels, Senator Pia S. Cayetano has this friendly advice to all Filipinos with a sweet tooth: Reduce your consumption of sugar and start shifting to a healthier, sugar-free diet.

"Pinoys are known as heavy, unrepentant sugar consumers. We always like our food and dishes sweetened without realizing that there's a bitter side to our heavy sugar intake. It is therefore no surprise that there's a high incidence of diabetes among our people," said the lady senator, a fitness and healthy diet advocate.

Health studies show that high sugar consumption increases the risk of hypertension and diabetes among adults and obesity in children.

Citing a report from the World Health Organization (WHO), Cayetano pointed out that diabetes ranks as the fourth leading cause of death in the world and eighth in the Philippines.

WHO also places the Philippines among the top ten countries in the world with the highest prevalence of diabetes, she added.

Citing a 2009 report from the International Diabetes Federation, she noted that Filipino adults with "Type 2" or acquired diabetes numbered 3.4 million out of a 51-million adult population, with 4.9 million more on the brink of developing the disease.

She also expressed alarm over the growing problem of obesity among Filipino children. A study by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) showed that the prevalence of obesity among schoolchildren shot up from 3.2% in 1998 to 4.9% in 2003.

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