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Diabetes triggers alarm and action in Southeast Asia

Singapore leads region's response with call to curb sugary 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, a combination of government appeals and changing lifestyle choices suggests that awareness of the causes of conditions like diabetes and heart disease is growing.

In an Aug. 20 National Day Rally 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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