Seven beverage makers to cut sugar in drinks sold in Singapore: MOH

Seven beverage makers to cut sugar in drinks sold in Singapore: MOH
Soft drinks makers have agreed to cut the sugar in their products sold in Singapore as part of the war against diabetes, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced at the National Day Rally 2017 on Sunday (20 August). Photo: Yahoo News Singapore.

Seven beverage makers have pledged to cap the sugar content in their drinks sold in Singapore at 12 per cent by 2020 as part of efforts to fight diabetes, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said Tuesday (22 August).

These companies – Coca-Cola, F&N Foods, Malaysia Dairy Industries, Nestle, PepsiCo, Pokka, and Yeo Hiap Seng – make up 70 per cent of the total sugared drinks market in Singapore, according to MOH.

The move could cut sugar consumption from sugared drinks by 300,000kg per year.

In Singapore, over 400,000 Singaporeans have diabetes with one in three of them facing a lifetime risk of getting the disease. If current trends continue, the number of Singaporeans with diabetes is projected to reach 1 million by 2050.

The Health Promotion Board (HPB) will continue to partner beverage makers to expand the range of healthier drink options in Singapore including conducting R&D on healthier ingredients and food products.

The Diabetes Prevention and Care Taskforce is studying measures on how to encourage further reduction in sugar consumption in Singapore through the experiences of other countries. These include sugar tax, warning labels and advertising curbs on drinks with high sugar content. The Taskforce will discuss these ideas and implementation details with stakeholders in the coming months.

HPB is also working with food manufacturers to expand their range of healthier ingredients under the Healthier Ingredient Development Scheme (HIDS) such as the use of brown rice of wholegrains in rice and noodles.

For those who prepare their meals at home, HPB is working with pre-packaged food manufacturers and supermarket chains to label more food products with the Healthier Choice Symbol (HCS).