Singapore is to ban advertising for high-sugar drinks.
In an announcement yesterday, the country’s Ministry of Health (MOH) said the ban is part of a new “war on sugar” that will also include health labels on packaging. The ban, which is expected to go into effect in the next few years, will make Singapore the first country to take such a measure over sugar-sweetened soft drinks, CNN reported.
According to GlobalData, the Singapore Government has been cracking down on sugar in soft drinks since 2016 in a bid to lower the risk of diseases associated with obesity such as diabetes. The strategy has contributed to a volumes drop in carbonated soft drinks in the city state. In 2018, volumes were down 6.6%, GlobalData said.
According to an article in The Strait Times in December, Singapore does not allow the sale of medium-to-high-sugar drinks in schools and goverment premises.
The upcoming ban on advertising will cover mass media platforms including websites and social media and aims to limit public exposure of unhealthy drinks to adults and children. The warning labels will include colour-coded packaging that shows the “health grade” of fizzy drinks and juices, including levels of sugar.
According to CNN, Singapore’s senior minister of state for law & health, Edwin Tong, said the MOH will also look into monitoring sugar in teas and coffees. Tong said the introduction of an outright ban on high-sugar drinks is still “on the agenda”.
Earlier this year, the European spirits industry pledged to provide full calorie information on bottle labels across the European Union.