Lifestyle

Singapore all set to become first country banning ads of sugary drinks

Singapore is all set to become the first country in the world to ban ads of drinks with high sugar content. This development is the latest move in Singapore’s ongoing “war on diabetes.”

According to the press release of the health ministry, Soft drinks, juices, yogurt drinks, and instant coffee would all be affected by the new regulation

The ban will be imposed on “the least healthy” sugar-sweetened beverages, and will cover all media platforms including print, broadcast and online, said Edwin Tong, Senior Minister of State for the city-state’s Ministry of Health.

At a press conference held on Thursday, a senior minister told reporters that the decision was made after a “public consultation” in the form of a survey.

The ministry further asserted that it will continue to gather consumer and industry feedback in the next few months, before announcing further details on its implementation next year.

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The ministry has also announced that sugary drinks would also be required to display a color-coded, front-of-pack nutrition label to list nutritional quality and sugar content.

Tong said the two measures were only the first steps in the city-state’s efforts to combat diabetes. Two other proposals, including the possibility of introducing an excise duty or even an outright ban on high-sugar drinks, are still “on the agenda.”

“We intend to study them more carefully,” he added. “We want to find measures that are sustainable in the long-term, that shape not just market consumption behavior but also on the supply side to drive reformulation.”

Saman Siddiqui

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