A “war on diabetes”. This is what the city-state of Singapore launched on October 11, 2019, by banning advertising for high sugar drinks. The move is one of several measures taken by the Singaporean Ministry of Health to reduce the consumption of sugary products on the Asian island. The latter displays one of the type 1 diabetes the highest in the world. Almost one in ten adults in its population had it in 2017, according to the International Diabetes Foundation.
Sodas and fruit juices in the sights
During a press conference, relayed by Reuters, Minister Delegate for Health Edwin Tonga has therefore announced that this new regulation would apply to “less healthy” sugary drinks, such as sodas, the Juice, the yoghurt-based beverages or the instant coffee. From next year, no advertising can be made to them, and this on all media platforms, print, audiovisual and online.
In addition to this ban, the government has indicated that a nutritional display with a color code, in the idea of the Nutri-Score, should be affixed to the labels. It will specify the nutritional quality of the drink as well as its sugar content.
A world first
These two new provisions are the first steps in a more comprehensive diabetes plan in Singapore. Edwin Tong notably put forward the idea of setting up a indirect tax on consumption, or a proscription totale sugary drinks.
For now, the ban on advertising of these unhealthy products is a world first. Since 2011, New York bans the sale of sugary drinks over half a liter in restaurants and cinemas. Across the Atlantic, in France, a “soda tax”Has been in existence since 2013. Above 5 grams of sugar per 100 milliliters of drink, the more sugar, the more the consumer pays.
As a reminder, according to the World Health Organization, high consumption of sugary drinks is associated with an increased risk of developing chronic diseases, as the diabetes, l’obesity or some cardiac pathologies. “People who [en] consume regularly […] – 1 to 2 cans a day or more – have a 26% greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes than those who rarely consume ”, note l’institution.