Dental Tribune Asia Pacific

Singapore to ban advertisement of certain sugary drinks

By Dental Tribune International
October 24, 2019

SINGAPORE: Excessive consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) can have a deleterious effect not just on oral health but on systemic health conditions, such as diabetes, as well. With this in mind, the Singaporean government has announced that it will ban the advertising of high-sugar drinks across all domestic mass media platforms.

The move is in response to growing global recognition of the contribution of excess sugar intake to a range of negative health outcomes. As Dental Tribune International has previously reported, the promotion of high-fat, high-salt or high-sugar food or drinks in traditional media and online media aimed at children has been banned in the UK, and the state government of Queensland in Australia has forbidden the advertising of unhealthy food and drinks on the advertisement spaces that it owns.

Singapore has one of the highest rates of diabetes in the world, and 13.7% of its adult population has been diagnosed with the condition. This is commonly attributed to an ageing population and to the increasingly widespread adoption of a diet high in added sugar.

Edwin Tong, the Senior Minister of State for the Ministries of Health and Law in the country, stated that the advertising changes would only apply to those carbonated beverages and fruit juices that are deemed to be the unhealthiest.

“We will introduce an advertising prohibition of product advertisements for the least healthy SSBs on all local mass media platforms, including broadcast, print, out-of-home and online channels,” Tong said in a statement.

It has been confirmed that consultations with consumers, drink producers and the advertising industry will take place prior to making a decision on the specific date for the ban to be implemented.

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