Freshly-Prepared Drinks With High Sugar Must Be Labelled On Menus By End-2023
To lower Singaporeans’ sugar intake and obesity rate, the Ministry of Health (MOH) will soon implement measures on drinks with high sugar and saturated fat.
From 30 Dec 2022, such pre-packed drinks in Singapore must be labelled with a Nutri-Grade mark that will inform consumers of their high sugar content.
Meanwhile, the authorities will be banning ads for drinks with the “highest” level of sugar and saturated fat.
No ads for drinks with “highest” sugar & saturated fat levels
Speaking at an event on Thursday (11 Aug), Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said MOH will be taking additional steps to tackle the obesity and high sugar intake issue in Singapore.
According to Mr Ong, half of Singaporeans’ daily sugar intake can be traced to beverages. Prepacked drinks, such as those in cans or packets, make up nearly two-thirds of these beverages.
To tackle this issue, such beverages with “higher sugar and saturated fat” will have to carry a Nutri-Grade mark from 30 Dec 2022. MOH previously announced that the requirement will take effect by the end of 2022.
Mr Ong hopes consumers will learn to associate the marking with high-sugar drinks and will avoid such beverages.
In addition, the health ministry will be prohibiting advertisements for drinks with the “highest” level of sugar and saturated fat.
They will be adopting similar measures for freshly prepared drinks like freshly squeezed juices, brews, and even bubble tea. MOH described such beverages as a “growing source of sugar in Singaporeans’ diets”.
For drinks with “higher” levels of sugar and saturated fat, establishments must add the Nutri-Grade mark to their hard and softcopy menus.
MOH aims to publish the measures for freshly prepared beverages in mid-2023. Thereafter, they hope to implement them by end-2023.
Measures to help consumers make healthier choices
Explaining the move, Mr Ong said the measures aim to help consumers make healthier choices.
He also shared his hope for consumers to transition towards having drinks like kopi, teh, and even bubble tea with lower sugar,
I hope more Singaporeans will realise that less sugar will bring out the natural flavours of the drinks and we may well find them more enjoyable.
Hopefully, once the measures are in place, MOH will be able to achieve its aims.
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Featured image adapted from Google Maps.
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