Restaurants mustn't charge for tap water

The Ministry of Health's plan to install more water coolers in public places is an excellent step in the right direction (More water coolers in fight against diabetes; April 15).

A ready supply of free water is the best way to reduce the nation's consumption of sugared beverages.

A pet peeve of mine is the rising trend of restaurants charging customers who ask for a glass of water with the meal they pay for.

Many who refuse to pay for water that comes from the tap choose instead to order a soft drink.

Children who grow up in this environment become adults who do not drink plain water even when it is available.

The Government should take the bold step of legislating the right of every customer to ask for free tap water with their meal.

Restaurant owners will argue about the costs involved. They should just take this as their contribution to building a healthier nation.

Melvin Look (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 20, 2018, with the headline 'Restaurants mustn't charge for tap water'. Print Edition | Subscribe