Drinks With Medium To High Sugar Content Will Carry Health Warnings

Providing a “less sweet” or “less sugar” option for packaged drinks apparently isn’t enough in Singapore’s war against diabetes.


In hopes of further discouraging people from consuming too much sugar, the Ministry of Health (MOH) has decided to make high sugar drinks scary for all.

How? With warning labels that scream how unhealthy those drinks are.

High sugar drinks will have “unhealthy” label

From 2020, medium to high sugar content drinks in bottles, cans and packs will have to carry a label indicating that they’re unhealthy. This includes instant mixes and juices, according to a report by The Straits Times.

The label will display a colour gradient range, telling consumers if the drink is healthy, neutral or unhealthy.

Sample graphics haven’t been released yet, but we’re guessing they’d be pretty similar to these nutrition content labels:


The introduction of such labels isn’t new, with over 30 countries already implementing them, including Chile, which saw a remarkable fall in sales of unhealthy drinks once that came into effect.

Singapore’s plans will unfold over the next 1 to 4 years, though the exact starting date will only be announced next year.

First country to ban ads for packaged sugary drinks

Aside from labels, Singapore will also be banning ads for ‘very high sugar content’ drinks.

Once this measure takes effect, we’ll be the first country to take such drastic actions against sugary beverages.

This only applies to packaged drinks – although the list of them hasn’t been released yet – so you’ll probably still see the latest bubble tea promo on billboards and electronic screens.

Choosing healthier options is a conscious effort

Even with these new measures, adopting a healthier lifestyle is ultimately a personal decision. Labels can serve as deterrents, but the only obstacle to a healthy diet is ourselves.

For now, maybe when you feel the urge to buy bubble tea, you can choose the lowest sugar level or none at all. At least you can start practising some discipline there.

Featured image adapted from TheSmartLocal.