The National Rally 2017 has the entire food and beverage industry in trouble after PM Lee dedicated one-third of his speech on the fight against diabetes.
The numbers that he had quoted are fairly alarming and probably have Singaporeans taking notice for the very first time.
With 3 out of 10 Singaporeans over the age of 60 having diabetes, it is a very serious problem.
Beverage Companies Pledged To Reduce Sugar In Their Drinks
According to Straits Time, seven major beverage companies have pledged to make their products less sweet by reducing sugar to tackle the issue. (They are probably afraid that nobody will buy their soft drinks anymore and they will have to close shop!)
The 7 companies are F&N Foods, Malaysia Dairy Industries, Nestle, Yeo Hiap Seng, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola Singapore and Pokka. The industry pact is the first of its kind in Singapore.
Ministry of Health (MOH) quoted that the pact will restrict sugar content to cap at 12 per cent. That means 12g for every 100ml or 40g for every typical 330ml of soft drink. This is in line with what the Health Promotion Board (HPB) recommends regarding the consumption of sugar.
HPB suggests that people should consume no more than 40g to 55g of sugar a day. That means that if you drink a can of 330ml soft drink, you shouldn’t be taking sugar for the rest of the day!
MOH appears to be happy with the pact, citing that this move can potentially reduce sugar consumption by about 300,000 kg of sugar per year.
Wow, is that really the case? Singaporeans drink lots of cold soft drinks and juices, partly because of the extremely hot weather.
Nonetheless, coffee and tea are also part of the equation as they can be equally sweet. The amount of sugar consumed is naturally high – more than 1,500 teaspoon or 7kg of sugar per year per person!
That is about 60% of our total sugar intake. Perhaps the pact really can reduce the sugar level…if it is really a sincere one.
The pact looks like a good move for the industry and Singaporeans in general until you look deeper into the issue.
But if you look deeper, you’ll notice something strange
The truth is that most soft drinks are already keeping their sugar level at 12 per cent or under. For example, Coca-Cola Classic kept its sugar level at 10.6% while Pokka Green Tea has 6% of sugar.
Some experts rally for the bar to go higher so that the sugar level can be further reduced to less than 12 %. As most soft drinks are already at that bar, the companies would be able to take on more challenges to reduce the sugar level to be less than 10% perhaps?
A dietician said that we should also watch what we consume when it comes to coffee, tea and fruit juices.
Some coffee and teas that are served in coffee shops can be horribly sweet and fruit juices are actually full of sugar that is found in fruits. Cold-pressed juice may be good for your guts, but it is not good for your sugar level!
Perhaps Singaporeans should practise more self-discipline instead of relying on businesses to reduce sugar. After all, using sugar substitutes in our drinks can end up making us unhealthier instead. If we can order teh
If we can order teh siu dai or kopi siu dai in the morning, share a can of Coke with a friend during lunch and keep to plain water after dinner, we will be better off than drinking soft drinks that are pumped with less sugar but more sugar substitutes.
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This article was first published on goodyfeed.com
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Featured Image: straitstimes.com