Singapore bans soda ads to curb diabetes epidemic

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Sugary soft drinks are every so slowly achieving pariah status, thanks to their undeniable link to obesity rates, diabetes, and a slew of other medical issues. Taxes on sugary drinks, though they remain controversial, have proven to be an measure in improving public health, and has led to companies reformulating their products to remove sugar from drinks marketed towards children. Now Singapore has taken things a step farther: Similar to ads for cigarettes, advertisements for sugary soft drinks have now been banned in the country.

As reported by CNN, the ban will cover all media platforms including television, print, and online. A press release from Singapore’s Ministry of Health notes that the new rules will apply to soft drinks, yogurt smoothies, juices, instant coffee products, and other beverages that exceed the government mandated threshold for beverage sugar content. Sugary beverages will also be required to display a color-coded nutrition label on the front of their packaging.

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Since the 1990s, the number of Singaporeans with diabetes has risen sharply, with one in 7 adults currently diagnosed as diabetic. The city-state has been prompted to action to help reduce the burden on its health care system, with multiple proposals currently on the table. The Ministry of Health says that they are considering an excise tax on sugary drinks, as well as an outright ban.

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About the author

Allison Robicelli

Allison Robicelli is The Takeout staff writer, a former professional chef, host of The Robicelli Argument Clinic Podcast, the author of three books, and a swan meat influencer.