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War on diabetes will have effect on 'innocent' bystanders

Imposing a sugar tax on packaged sweet drinks, and getting people to drink more water, will affect sales of sugary drink manufacturers and retailers. But that's surely a price worth paying for lower diabetes rates.

The Ministry of Health wants the public's take on a series of proposed tough actions to reduce the high sugar intake here: banning high-sugar drinks, taxing them, not allowing them to be advertised, and insisting that the drinks display prominently a label to show if the contents are healthy.

The soft sell over the years, including reformulation of drinks so there is less sugar, has not resulted in any reduction in sugar consumed here. The average Singaporean still takes 12 teaspoons a day - above the daily intake of 10 or fewer, and ideally under five, recommended by the World Health Organisation.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 06, 2018, with the headline 'War on diabetes will have effect on 'innocent' bystanders'. Print Edition | Subscribe