Health Promotion Board
Feature | HPB

Striving for a Healthier Future

The Health Promotion Board (HPB) endeavours to build a nation of healthy people by educating and empowering Singaporeans to make well-informed and healthier decisions, and providing them with access to healthier options so that they can lead healthier lifestyles. Mak Ying Yuan, one of HPB’s Scholars, shares how she contributes to national-wide efforts in helping Singaporeans to stay healthy.

HPB Local Merit Undergraduate Scholar Mak Ying Yuan works as a Outreach Manager at the Parents & Caregivers Department at School Health & Outreach Division. Her main role is to focus on increasing awareness and improving the mental well-being of parents and children, and to implement health promoting programmes. She holds a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Food Science & Technology degree from NUS.

With an aspiration to help Singaporeans achieve healthier lives, Ying Yuan, a Manager at the School Health & Outreach Division at Health Promotion Board (HPB), knew that she would find a career in public health fulfilling, adding that she hopes to “not only improve healthy living among current generations, but impact future generations as well.”

A Passion to Improve Health

Growing up, Ying Yuan’s parents often encouraged her to eat fruits and vegetables, and this inspired her to develop a keen interest in food and nutrition. As her parents grew older, they were diagnosed with chronic illnesses such as high blood pressure. Hence, Ying Yuan was determined to learn more about healthy living practices to help her parents improve and better manage their health conditions.

When Ying Yuan came across the HPB and its Local Merit Undergraduate Scholarship, she was immediately attracted by HPB’s mission to bring better health to Singaporeans, and the scholarship option. The scholarship not only covered her tuition fees and provided her with a monthly allowance, it also enabled her to learn and grow holistically through overseas community involvement projects and student exchange programmes.

“I was really inspired by the work HPB does and its passion to improve the health of Singaporeans, so I decided to apply for the scholarship as it was aligned with what I wanted to pursue in the future,” said Ying Yuan.

Having graduated with a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Food Science & Technology from NUS, Ying Yuan is well equipped with knowledge on nutrition and the correlation between diet and health, among other things. She looked forward to working at the HPB upon graduation, citing its mission in health promotion as something she strongly identified and was aligned with. Ying Yuan’s first role at HPB was a Programme Manager with the Healthy Food & Dining Division, where she had ample opportunities to make good use of the in-depth knowledge gleaned from her studies. She was also involved in the Healthier Choice Symbol Programme, a national accreditation programme that was established in 2001 to help Singaporeans identify healthier food options during grocery shopping.

Mak Ying Yuan

Mak Ying Yuan

Finding Joy and Meaning

As part of a job rotation opportunity for Ying Yuan to gain wider exposure and learn about the different areas of work under HPB, she is currently an Outreach Manager at the Parents & Caregivers Department under the School Health & Outreach Division. Her role focuses on increasing awareness and improving mental well-being among parents and children. She also oversees the implementation of health promoting programmes in schools. She works closely with partners, to amplify and advance health promotion efforts and strengthens data analysis capabilities within her team.

“The most fulfilling experiences in my role are definitely the ones where I am able to interact with participants from our programmes – parents and their children, and see for myself how they enjoy and learn from HPB’s programmes. I am heartened when I see their smiles while participating in our programmes and hope that they can apply what they have learnt to make healthy living a part of their lives,” she quipped.

“No matter which department you are in, you will be contributing in your own way to HPB’s goal of creating a nation of healthy people and shaping a healthier life for current and future generations.” Mak Ying Yuan

“I recall one session where a five-year-old child was able to confidently share why excessive consumption of sugar was bad for health, with a clear explanation of how it may affect her teeth and cause weight gain. I was impressed by her answer and it was at that time I truly felt the impact of our programmes, and how our work at HPB is helping to shape a healthier Singapore.”

HPB is supportive of staff who are keen to develop functional competencies that aid their work as part of learning and development. Ying Yuan is currently focusing on improving her data literacy skills as she believes these are transferable skills which can be applied in any role within HPB. She proactively takes up relevant courses via an online learning platform ( for public service officers.

When asked what makes a career at HPB an exciting one, Ying Yuan shares that it is the opportunity to contribute to a healthier society for Singaporeans today and tomorrow. She added: “No matter which department you are in, you will be contributing in your own way to HPB’s goal of creating a nation of healthy people and shaping a healthier life for current and future generations. If you have a passion for public health and would like to pursue a fulfilling and meaningful career where you will be able to make a difference, Health Promotion Board is the place for you!”