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Life

In Southeast Asia, rising diabetes rates set off alarms

Singapore leads region with moves to curb consumption of sugary soft drinks

A man drinks a Coca-Cola at a store in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, December 2016   © Reuters

SINGAPORE -- As Southeast Asia struggles with the rise of modern illnesses that have blighted Western societies such as heart disease and diabetes, a combination of government appeals and changing lifestyle choices suggests a growing awareness of the causes of such conditions.

In an Aug. 20 national day speech, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore recommended that citizens cut back on sugar consumption -- flagging-up the soft drinks that are popular among thirsty pedestrians cooling down after a walk in the city-state's often stifling heat.

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