Polys join war against diabetes with nutrition courses for public
Ngee Ann Poly, Temasek Poly and Singapore Poly set to offer programmes covering areas like healthy eating
To help Singaporeans manage diabetes, local polytechnics are launching short courses for the public on disease and nutrition management in the upcoming months.
Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP) and Temasek Polytechnic (TP) will be offering one-day programmes over this month and next, with the latter offering two such courses.
Singapore Polytechnic (SP) is also introducing a two-day programme in October.
This follows the Government's growing efforts in the war against diabetes, which was launched in April last year.
TP's two courses - Nutrition Therapy for the Prevention and Management of Diabetes and Nutrition for Optimum Health will be running this Saturday and on Sept 23, respectively.
The former instils participants with knowledge in basic nutrition and the latter is a wider-ranging course covering areas such as weight management and exercise nutrition.
Healthy eating is the "cornerstone in the maintenance of healthy weight", said Dr Kalpana Bhaskaran, domain lead of Applied Nutrition & Glycemic Index Research at TP's School of Applied Science.
"Being overweight or obese is one of the major risk factors for diabetes, heart diseases and certain forms of cancer."
She said 50 per cent of both courses are hands-on activities, "empowering the participants to translate their knowledge into a practical, healthy way of life".
TP plans to run the courses every quarter.
SP's Shifting Away Diabetes: Optimising Your Health Through Nutrition also focuses on helping participants develop healthy eating habits.
NP's programme, Knowing About Diabetes, will run on Sept 19 and cover topics like diabetics basics, prevention of complications and self-care.
"We are partnering with National Silver Academy, and our School of Health Sciences also works closely with healthcare experts so we understand that diabetes is a growing concern here," said NP's CET Academy's assistant director Ng Ker Wei.
"We hope to transfer the knowledge (about diabetes) to the public so they will be more aware of the symptoms."
Republic Polytechnic is also running a similar health and wellness course, Diet and Nutrition, on Oct 11.
Most of the courses are supported and subsidised by SkillsFuture Singapore.
Mr Michael Lee, 58, signed up for TP's diabetes-focused course this Saturday hoping to find new ways to help diabetes patients be less reliant on long-term medication.
The diabetic and member of the Diabetic Society of Singapore (DSS) said: "I have not been taking medicine for the last three years... It takes discipline to do more physical exercises and diet control.
"The DSS has also been helpful with organising events, lessons and providing support patients like me."
Registration for the September and October courses offered by TP, NP and RP are still open, while registration for SP's course will open next month.
Polys launch low GI food items
Low GI brownies and briyani?
These products are now available, thanks to the work of local polytechnics.
Temasek Polytechnic (TP) announced this week the launch of a multi-grain drink, iLite® GrainsPlus, which has a low glycaemic index (GI).
GI values refer to the rate at which different foods raise a person's blood sugar level.
The school teamed up with food manufacturing company Faesol to create the drink, which is now available at NTUC FairPrice outlets.
Earlier this year, students from the School of Applied Science also announced a collaboration with NTUC Foodfare to develop diabetic-friendly dishes like pad thai, with noodles made from sweet potato rather than rice flour and spicy briyani with lamb meatballs, which uses low-GI, long-grain rice.
These dishes are halal-certified and are available at NTUC Foodfare at Mapletree Business City.
Singapore Polytechnic's School of Chemical & Life Sciences has previously teamed up with companies to create low GI instant soya oatmeal, banana chocolate cupcake mix, brownie mix and healthier mee kia, some of which are available at supermarkets and hawker stalls.
Students in the Diploma in Food Science & Technology course came up with the brownie and cupcake mixes, while the polytechnic's Food Innovation Resource Centre worked on the soya oatmeal and noodles.