As part of the efforts in Singapore’s war against diabetes, the government has introduced a new measure which manufacturers and beverage outlets must abide by. This move will see “pre-packaged non-alcoholic drinks with a high sugar or saturated fat content display a nutrition label with grades ranging from A to D, with D being the unhealthiest.” The next phase of this measure will be extended to freshly prepared drinks such as bubble tea which is a huge favourite among many youths and young adults in Singapore.
Close to 19,000 citizens are diagnosed with diabetes annually in Singapore. Regarding this new initiative, Minister for Health Gan Kim Yong explained that “to win the war on diabetes, we will need concerted, multi-year efforts, and many of these will only bear fruit in the long term.”
More water-coolers will also be installed around the island at locations such as the bus interchange. The Ministry of Health revealed that this effort is in line with the Health Promotion Board’s upcoming campaign to promote the consumption of plain water, which will be launched in the middle of the year.
The details of the grading system
Similar to the education system in Singapore, getting an A means you are the best. Drinks which are awarded an A must contain 1g or less of sugar and 0.7g or less of saturated fat per 100ml and contain no sweetener. On the other hand, if a drink receives a D grade, it means that it contains the highest sugar and fat amount.
To aid consumers, these “Nutri-Grades” will be colour coded – A (dark green), B (light green), C (orange) and D (red). According to Senior Minister of State for Health Edwin Tong, “this provides a quick, at-a-glance summary of the nutritional quality of the beverage, allowing consumers to compare across products at the point of purchase.”
Summary of Nutri-Grade (Photo credit: The Straits Times)