Uncontrolled consumption of pulut leading to diabetes increase in Perlis

KANGAR: Uncontrolled consumption of high-carbohydrate pulut-based (glutinous rice) food is seen as one of the factors contributing to the increase in diabetes cases in Perlis.

Currently, Perlis has become the second state in the country after Negri Sembilan with a high number of diabetic patients, especially among the elderly, who commonly consume popular dishes based on pulut.

For instance, dishes like Pulut Panggang, Pulut Ikan Masin, Pulut Ayam, and Pulut Harumanis

Perlis State Health Director, Dr Ismuni Bohari, mentioned that based on the National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS) 2019 data regarding Non-Communicable Diseases among adults aged 18 and above in Perlis, diabetes showed a significant increase compared to hypertension and cholesterol.

"In the case of diabetes, there's a noticeable increasing trend, which is twice as much, from 16.9 percent in the NHMS 2015 to 32.7 percent in the NHMS 2019," he said.

"This increase involves an estimated 52,184 residents in this state diagnosed with diabetes, making Perlis the second state after Negri Sembilan with a high number of diabetic patients," he added.

He spoke to reporters after attending the Health Media Appreciation Ceremony and Strategic

Partners of Malaysia Sihat National Agenda (AMNS) at the Senior Police Officer's Mess at Jalan Raja Muda, here yesterday.

He said that various factors contribute to the rise in diabetes in the state, such as aging and a family history of chronic diseases like diabetes or hypertension among parents or siblings.

"In Perlis, the adult population aged 40 and above is substantial, and thus, aging remains a significant factor in the rising percentage of cases. Moreover, being overweight or obesity, unbalanced nutrition, and inactive lifestyles are also seen as factors contributing to this increase."

"Furthermore, Perlis' diet includes many high-carbohydrate foods, especially those based on pulut such as pulut panggang (grilled glutinous rice rolls) and various other pulut-based dishes."

"Previously, pulut was often consumed in the morning , and after eating pulut, these farming communities would go to plow the fields. However, now all these tasks are facilitated with the use of paddy machines, but the eating habits persist, leading to an unhealthy lifestyle and eventually causing diabetes," he said..

Dr Ismuni mentioned that due to this, the Perlis State Health Department (JKN) has already devised the Perlis State Diabetes Strategic Plan as a measure to control the increasing prevalence of this disease.

"We are in the final stages of implementing the Perlis State Diabetes Strategic Plan, which is expected to be carried out next year. At least, we aim to make Perlis a controlled state in terms of the percentage of this disease," he said.

During the Rural Entrepreneurs Carnival (KUD)@ Putrajaya last Saturday, Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim directed all ministries and government agencies to conduct a campaign to reduce sugar intake as Malaysia currently records the highest number of diabetes sufferers in Asia.

Earlier, Ismuni presented plaques of appreciation to 33 strategic partner agencies, including 10 representatives from Perlis media agencies, acknowledging their role in disseminating various health information and programs for the community.

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