Cans piled together

In efforts to reduce the population’s diabetes problem, Singapore’s Ministry of Health (MOH) announced a ban on adverts for high-sugar drinks. The ban will extend across all traditional and new media platforms like TV, internet, newspaper, radio and outdoor ads. If accomplished, it will make Singapore the first country in the world to do so.

The MOH will also implement a mandatory front-of-pack nutritional label that will be colour-coded to indicate whether the drink is healthy, unhealthy or neutral. According to the 2017 OECD Obesity Update, colour-coded labelling has the potential to produce an 18 percent increase in the number of consumers choosing a healthier option.

The latest initiative will cover pre-packaged drinks in cans, bottles and packs, which includes soft drinks, two- or three-in-one drinks, juices, yoghurt drinks, herbal teas and many more.

Apart from reducing the sugar intake of the population, the MOH believes that the new measures will apply pressure on companies to reformulate.

In a White Paper released by the MOH believes that “Together these two measures [nutritional labelling and advertising restrictions] will provide consumers with nutrition information, particularly on sugar content, to make informed choices, and reduce [the] influence from advertising, thus encouraging healthier choices and spurring industry reformulation.”

The effectivity of the ban and nutritional labelling will be announced in 2020.