Health Care

Singapore to ban sugary drink ads in fight against diabetes, reports media

Singapore to ban sugary drink ads in fight against diabetes, reports media”

Singapore, one of Asia's biggest per capita consumers of sugar, plans to implement a total ban on ads for packaged drinks with very high sugar content in an attempt to reduce illnesses in the rapidly-aging city state.

They will also obtain industry feedback in the coming months on how to implement the measures and announce more details next year.

How a drink is graded depends largely on its sugar content, but not exclusively. Other factors include the amount of saturated fat found in products such as three-in-one coffee mixes, for example.

The option of including this label if a drink receives a positive grade is left to the manufacturer to decide.

The move is part of the war on diabetes, which is a major health problem in Singapore. After taking into account how many individuals weighed and their general eating routines, specialists found that the individuals who expanded their all-out utilization of sugary beverages by a half serving a day more than four years were 16% bound to have diabetes throughout the following four-year time frame. Some have as many as eight teaspoons of sugar per 250ml.

It's possible that diet sodas and other artificially-sweetened drinks were tied to higher diabetes risk because people switched to these beverages after they developed diabetes or realized they were on track to get the disease, the study team acknowledges in Diabetes Care.

The health ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Certain high-sugar soft drinks and juices also will be required to bear "unhealthy" packaging labels under the measures rolled out over the next four years, Edwin Tong, senior minister of state for health, was quoted as saying by the Straits Times newspaper and broadcaster Channel NewsAsia.

The use of a compulsory label received the highest support, with 84 per cent of the more than 4,000 respondents in favour of it.

Researchers examined over two decades of data from more than 192,000 men and women who worked in nursing or other healthcare jobs.

It added that the measures were only a start and it will continue to explore the possibility of a sugar tax or ban.

He told the media that MOH is also looking at how sugar in freshly prepared drinks, such as bubble tea and drinks at fast-food outlets, can be regulated. There is concern that consumers might simply replace sugar-sweetened beverages with freshly prepared high-sugar drinks.

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