The Malaysian News Channel BNE (Bernama News Channel) aired a 30-minute one-on-one interview with Dr. Rajen Manicka on April 21st 2017. Dr. Rajen Manicka, CEO of Holista Colltech, is a food ingredients entrepreneur who is actively involved in the co-development of Low GI foods together with Meiert J. Grootes, CEO of Veripan AG.

During the interview Dr. Rajen Manicka explaines that Malaysia’s starch-rich diet has worrying effects on the rapid rise of diabetes in the country. He states from his doctor thesis that on average a Malaysian citizen eats up to 50 teaspoons of sugar every day, originating often from sweetened beverages and sweetened white bread. The lack of movement in our daily life in combination with the growing intake of the “4-S tsunamis” (starch, sugar, salt, saturated fats) leads to a potent mix, encouraging the growth of diabetes not only in Malaysia, but all over the world.

In order to combat diabetes, it would mean for industry, as well as the government to get involved. Dr. Rajen Manicka adds here that even though our health is our own personal responsibility, it is doubtful whether or not we actually consume unhealthy foods due to necessity or actual free will. He underlines that the industry itself will not change its path because it is market driven, which in turn is determined by consumer behaviour. This obviously presents a catch-22: Without consumer pressure the industry will not change, but without industry change the consumer will not have access to other choices.

Dr. Rajen Manicka sees the government as a necessary intermediary, which can guide the consumer to healthier choices through educational intervention. An example here would be a sugar tax already implemented in parts of the United States and in Mexico, UK, France, Denmark, Norway, South Africa, Hungary and many more.  In-depth studies in Mexico and in Berkeley, CA have shown that even a small tax can decrease the soda consumption by 10% annually.

The key is to educate the consumer so that everyone is able to make an informed choice about their food intake. It is the government’s responsibility to lead the way, which will enable to consumer to steer in the right direction. In conclusion, our health is in our own hands and it lays in our own interest to be the healthiest we can possibly be.
For the full interview please watch the video below: