Singapore to boost public health with help from Denmark

close-up of wheat in a field

S’pore being the second country in the world with most incidents of diabetes, the Health Promotion Board of Singapore aims to boost the public health in Singapore. After studying Denmark’s health cooperation, they have found a “whole” new way to do it.

The answer is the Fuldkornspartnerskabet. It’s directly translated to The Whole Grain Partnership, and it’s a cooperation between Danish Veterinary and Food Administration, food companies and health NGO’s, all striving to increase the whole grain intake among Danes. The last few years Fuldkornspartnerskabet has been very rewarding, and now Singapore will learn from the Danish health cooperation.

“As a part of planning the health-care policy, we are very interested to learn more from Danmark’s successful Fuldkornspartnerskab, and how this initiative has resulted in an increasing intake of whole grains in Denmark, and how it is cooperating with the food industry,” says Zee Yoong Kang, Chief Executive Officer fra Singapores Health Promotion Board.

In Singapore it’s common to eat refined carbs such as white rice, noodles and white bread. To fight the diabetes, Singaporeans needs to replace refined carbs with whole grain products, which also are important to maintain an overall healthy lifestyle.

The last 8 years Fuldkornspartnerskapet has made an effort to improve the public health in Denmark and make them eat more whole grains. Today, the average Dane eats 63 gram whole grain every day. Before Fuldkornspartnerskabet was established, a Dane only ate 36 gram whole grain every day – yes, even if Scandinavia are famous for their rye bread! In Denmark, the official diet advice prescribes 75 gram whole grain a day. To reach this goal, the Danish Food Industry introduces and labels all food products with a characteristic orange logo, meaning the certain food product is qualified as a healthy whole grain product. Since 2009, 683 products have been labeled with this logo and introduced to the Danish consumers. According to Fuldkorspartnerskabet, 66 percent of all Danes know the orange logo.

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“Denmark is not only a pioneer when it comes to diabetes medicine, but also when it regards lifestyle and diet,” says Rikke Iben Nees, campaign leader of Fuldkornspartnerskabet.

In Singapore, the Health Promotion Board is the government’s main board on maintaning publich health and to prevent illnesses.

Zee Yoong Kang, Chief Executive Officer for Singapore Health Promotion Board, Dr Chew Ling, Director, Innovation, Insights and Planning, Dr Annie Ling, Director, Policy, Research and Surveillance, Chelsea Chang, Manager, Policy and Strategy Development Health Promotion Board will visit Denmark on 15 and 16 June to learn more from Fuldkornspartnerskabet.

Sources: www.fuldkornspartnerskabet.dk

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