Fight Against Sugar Spreads to Sri Lanka

On 22 February 2016, CAP received a very unique and special guest who translated and republished CAP’s booklet How Sugar Destroys Your Health, in English and Sinhala and distributed 50,000 copies of the book free of charge to Sri Lankan consumers. Mr Channa De Silva, is the former Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka and graduated from Melbourne University and Harvard. His father-in-law is Dr A. T. Ariyaratne, the founder of Sarvodaya in Sri Lanka, a social movement based on Buddhist and Gandhian teachings and works in over 10 thousand villages in Sri Lanka.

This is only the beginning of Mr Channa’s fight against sugar in Sri Lanka. He plans to print another 50,000 copies for free distribution, this time including a Tamil edition. He also plans to organise a cyclothon, together with Sarvodaya, to spread the anti-sugar message throughout Sri Lanka. The event will move from the southern tip to the northern tip of Sri Lanka, carrying the fight sugar message over 300 km across the country. The entire event will take about 5 days to complete. The President of Sri Lanka will be invited to launch the campaign. He intends to campaign for a Sugar Tax to discourage the consumption of high-sugar products like soft drinks, candies, sweets, confectioneries and processed foods.

The books are making a huge impact there. The Nutrition Division of the Health Ministry in Sri Lanka is going to launch a year-long campaign to reduce sugar consumption in Sri Lanka as a result of the consciousness raised by the book. And consumers are moving away from sweet foods like cakes and soft drinks. Doctors are beginning to see the huge amounts of sugar hidden in processed foods and the impacts they made on the health of Sri Lankans.

We reproduce below the Publisher’s Note from the Sri Lankan edition of the How Sugar Destroys Your Health book.

Let the fight against sugar start in Sri Lanka

The damage done by sugar in Sri Lanka is largely unknown because statistics are unavailable or are not well understood. The only thing visible is the destruction done by sugar through increasing incidence of diabetes along with its contribution to 60 other serious illnesses including dysfunctional kidneys and heart related problems. lnformed people know the country is in a health crisis due to sugar. Most people however are completely unaware about related health issues and consume sugar in large quantities.

As we are a nation of great hospitality Sri Lankans are more susceptible to high sugar consumption. As a result we are more exposed to sugar related health problems. We have created a culture where continuously feeding our children as an expression of love is now extended to our families, friends, colleagues, and even to those less well known to us thus creating a nationwide health hazard. This is aggravated by our love for sweets which has entered our mainstream culinary culture. It is time we change our food habits and replace unhealthy food with exercise and healthy living.

My deepest gratitude and appreciation goes to the Consumers Association of Penang for providing me with the rights to republish this booklet in Sri Lanka. I thank the leadership and the staff of the Consumers Association of Penang for their commitment to create a healthy population. I also thank the Diabetes Association of Sri Lanka for the assistance provided.

This republication in Sri Lanka is dedicated to all parents and this booklet is expected to be distributed free of any charge.

May we create a healthier nation and a happy population.

Channa de Silva
36/31 Edmonton Road, Colombo 6.
Contact: 2512 987, 0722369300