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Why the Health Promotion Blog

January 24, 2007

Yesterday, I discovered the power of the blog!

I had, on 1 January 2007, started a new health-related website about trans fats, STOP trans fats at www.stop-trans-fat.com.

Over the weekend, I saw that a popular Singaporean blogger, Mr Wang Says So, had posted an article about trans fats. So I wrote to him to mention my site, and asked if he could help me publicise it.

When I checked my web statistics, I was shocked! I got 320 visitors, with more than 170 referred from Mr Wang’s site.

I thought, Wow! Never had I imagine that a 3-week old website could attract 320 visitors in one day!

Thus encourged, I decided to revive my Health Promotion Blog, this time powered by WordPress (which an old friend just happened to tell me about the other day.)

The reasons for starting – and reviving – this blog remains the same. Back in September 2005, I wrote:

These past few days, I have (again) been engaged in an exchange of letters in the press with the Health Promotion Board.

It set me thinking… What is the true objective of the HPB? Is it just to promote health by encouraging healthy diets and lifestyles? Or it is to be politically correct in not going against the interests of certain other government bodies and commercial organisations?

A few issues made me think about this:

  • The Head of Nutrition at HPB publicly declared, in a letter to the ST Forum on 20 September 2005, that “organically grown foods have no nutritional advantages over non-organically grown foods.”
  • On the same day, the same person was quoted in TODAY newspaper saying that tap water is the best drink. In so doing, the person totally avoids the issue of possible dangers associated with chlorination. At the same time, she declared that fluorides added to tap water is good for the teeth, again totally ignoring the controversy surrounding fluorides.
  • In researching the nutritional advantages of organic foods, I came across the website of Nutrition Australia – a non-government, non-profit, community-based organisation. And I was struck by how different Nutrition Australia was from government-related health promotion bodies like the HPB.

I feel there is a need for a similar organisation for Singapore. But of course, the information it provides can be useful for anyone and everyone, anywhere in the world.

Then the name Health Promotion Blog came to mind. I got to my computer, registered this blog, and here it is.

Unfortunately, I was too busy with work at that time and too tired to keep up blogging. I am a bit freer now, having completed a major writing project. So here I am today. I hope, this second time around, I will be able to keep blogging.

But I need an audience to sustain me. So if you happen to visit and like what you see, please help publicise this blog.

Today, I am still having an exchange of letters in the press with the Health Promotion Board, this time over the issue of trans fats.

Not just me, but I think a fair number of Singaporeans, are disappointed and disillusioned with the HPB for its refusal to introduce trans fat labelling or to ban trans fats.

Many are especially unhappy with the reasons given by the HPB for its stance – that such measures would amount to erecting trade barriers.

Why is the HPB putting trade and business interests above the health of Singaporeans?

Mr Wang had mentioned, in his commentary, that Singapore has made many things illegal – oral sex, gay sex, unlicensed public speeches, Jehovah’s Witnesses, cats from HDB flats, durians from public buses, 4-man public demonstrations….

This set me thinking further…

Where health is concerned, Singapore has banned products like:

  • Stevia, a naturally sweet herb that is used as an alternative to harmful artificial sweeteners like aspartame
  • Kombucha, a naturally fermented drink that is highly recommended by several natural health advocates.

Why is the government so quick to ban these natural substances even when there is little or no scientific evidence that they are harmful to health? And yet it adamantly refuses to ban trans fats which are widely acknowledged by scientists to be extremely harmful to health, causing heart disease, obesity, diabetes, cancer. low birth weight in babies… and now, the latest research findings show, infertility!

This blog, as well as my various websites, will present commentaries and information on these and other issues related to health, not necessarily concerning the HPB.

Just to make things clear, my aim is to share what I know – and how I feel – about health issues. I have nothing personal against the HPB, just that I strongly disagree with many of their health rcommendations and policies.

So I will make this blog relevant to anyone and everyone who wishes to understand more about health – and not to fall ill unnecessarily.

Welcome, then, to the Health Promotion Blog!

2 comments

  1. I quite agree that the various health authorities have been getting away too often with double-speaking and feet-dragging, which I suspect is not unusual in the civil service. Great that you are keeping track.

    Not knowing much about blogging, I dare say that the font is pleasing, the layout soothing and the writing clear. May this be a good start 🙂

    Btw, thanks for saving me the trouble of starting a blog of this myself, I may not be doing nearly as good a job as you.


  2. Amazing blog! I’m glad I found it and I sure will share it with my family and friends. Thank you.



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