The Health Promotion Board (HPB), Singapore, has launched a first-of-its-kind nationwide challenge to encourage Singaporeans who are overweight and at risk of becoming obese to battle the bulge.
According to the National Health Survey 2010, 1.7 million Singaporeans have a body mass index (BMI) of 23 or above, and they are at risk of obesity-related diseases such as diabetes, heart diseases and stroke. HPB says one million Singaporeans with BMI of 23 or more are either already pre-diabetic, or suffer at least one or more chronic condition such as diabetes. The One Million KG Challenge aims to get Singapore residents to collectively lose one million kilogrammes by 2016.
These community initiatives reflect a greater awareness of the need to combat obesity in order to curb the increasing prevalence of diabetes, amongst other lifestyle diseases. While community initiatives like this are highly commendable in their efforts to inspire the general public to lose weight and improve their health, the bigger challenge lies in how to maintain the weight lost and to persist in living a healthy lifestyle after the challenge is over.