Aster Clinic, launched a nation-wide initiative called ‘#STUBSUGAR’, to create awareness among the population about excessive sugar intake which is the prime cause for chronic conditions like diabetes and obesity.

There have been huge strides in creating awareness about the health consequences caused by tobacco usage. However, increased incidence of diabetes and childhood obesity in the UAE has made it imperative to educate people about the dangers and consequences of a substance as harmful as tobacco – ‘Sugar’.

According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 3.8 million deaths have been reported between 2012-2015 worldwide, due to diabetes, high blood glucose and other sugar-related conditions. [1]Alarmingly, millions of people have identified the health community’s call to quit smoking, while; the deadly consequences of sugar overdose have been largely unnoticed.

With the aim of preventing diet related chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes and heart diseases and as an effort to reduce the inappropriate use of sugar among consumers, the #STUBSUGAR initiative aims to increase awareness of the risks associated with excessive consumption of added sugar. Going by the tagline ‘Sugar is the new tobacco’, the campaign strives to promote greater awareness on healthy dietary choices.

Speaking about the #STUBSUGAR initiative, Dr. Prakash Pania, Consultant Endocrinologist at Aster Clinic (AJMC), Bur Dubai, said, “The amount of sugar that has steadily crept into our diets will have everlasting repercussions on our health in the future. Sugar has now become one of the main causative factors of chronic health conditions like diabetes, heart diseases and through obesity, even cancer. There is a need to establish a robust program that aids in educating individuals about taking control of their health. The #STUBSUGAR is a unique initiative that is a pivotal step in raising awareness about the hazardous effects of excessive sugar consumption across all age groups. The ultimate objective is to withdraw sweetness from the consumer’s diet and fill it in their lives, thereby creating a healthier society.”

As part of the campaign, Aster Clinic designed 5000 tailor made sugar sachets in the form of cigarettes as a simple visual device that aptly dub a common message, ‘Sugar is the new tobacco. Cut down on both. #STUBSUGAR. Replacing regular sugar sachets, the tailor made sachets have been placed across numerous popular coffee shops in Dubai. Every time the customer opts for sugar, they are urged to reconsider their decision to add sugar to the beverage and is motivated to put an end to this toxic habit.

Dr. Aisam Raoof Mattar, Specialist in Internal Medicine at Aster Clinic, Tecom said, “Changing food habits and the fact that most people are not aware of the amount of sugar they intake on a daily basis has resulted in increase of various ailments. Awareness about health consequences of excessive sugar intake is a crucial step towards building a healthier community. It is not about cutting down on sugar altogether, but to educate the consumer about the nature of the concern, its consequences and provide information on the benefits of a more conscious sugar intake. It is the small steps that an individual takes that lead them to a healthier and happier life.”

[1] www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs312/en/