Health Ministry hopes beverage companies cut down on sugar content


  • Nation
  • Sunday, 30 Jun 2019

IPOH: The Health Ministry hopes producers of sweetened beverages will be able to cut down on the sugar content as one way to reduce obesity, says Dr Lee Boon Chye (pic).

The Deputy Health Minister said although this would cause an impact to the industry, several producers of such beverages were already coming up with healthy choices where the sugar content is lowered.

"It takes a long time to change the taste of the community, and reducing the content of sugar is one way to do that.

"After all if we look back at history of drinking, nobody could ever imagined some 30 years back, bottled water could be a commodity.

"No one would have thought that a company could sell just water. In fact, one of the largest bottled water company is based in Perak," he told reporters after launching a health and family fun day at SMJK Ave Maria here Sunday (June 30).

He was asked to comment on a report in The Star on dieticians and nutritionists stating that more needs to be done to tackle obesity in the country despite the introduction of the sugar tax.

Some groups had suggested putting a tax on sweetened beverages, as other countries had seen encouraging results.

Dr Lee said the sugar tax was a programme under the Finance Ministry, which the Health Ministry is giving its full support.

"Consumption of sugar in excess quantity actually contributes to obesity.

"There is obvious evidence from other countries, like Mexico, where sugar tax actually helped in reducing consumption of sugar, and the revenue from the tax used to help fund school nutrition programme for the poor," he added.

 

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