Thursday , July 29 2021

Singapore's war on sugar: what other countries are doing, Singapore News & Top Stories



Singapore joined others in the fight against sugar in the fight against diabetes, and could follow the example of imposing taxes and restrictions on the sale of sugary drinks.

Here's a look at what countries like Malaysia, Thailand, India and the United States are doing to reduce sugar intake among their citizens.

Malaysia: Asia's fattest nation needs to do more than tax sugar

In an attempt to reduce obesity in Malaysia, the government opted for a sugar tax to be implemented in April this year.

With almost half of its population obese, Malaysia is known as the fattest country in Asia. Pakatan Harapan's administration believes that taxing soft drinks and high-sugar juices would help alleviate the problem.

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Philippines: sales below; savings in health care a possibility

The Philippines charged sugar syrup taxes on Jan. 1 last year as part of a broader tax reform package and to help prevent more than 24,000 premature deaths linked to diseases such as diabetes, stroke, and heart failure in 20 years.

A tax of 6 pesos (S $ 0.16) per liter was applied to beverages using sugar and other sweeteners, and 12 pesos per liter in high fructose corn syrup.

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Thailand: Consumption sinks after sugar tax

The average Thai person consumed about 26 teaspoons of sugar every day, health officials revealed in 2015. While sugar is found in snacks and day-to-day food such as pasta, most are consumed by pre- packaged.

Concerned about the health costs of obesity, diabetes and heart disease, the government has introduced a sugar tax to encourage beverage manufacturers to reduce the sweetness of their products.

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India: 'tax on sin' does nothing to quench thirst for sugary drinks

Often dubbed the "diabetes capital of the world," India has announced its intention to reduce consumption of sugary drinks by placing them at the highest 28% duty and goods tax rate in July 2017.

In addition, sweetened carbonated water and flavored water were covered by "pecuniary compensation" of 12%, ie a pecuniary charge, a category reserved mainly for harmful products such as tobacco.

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United States: business successes, mistakes and reactions

Eight cities in the United States imposed taxes ranging from one cent to three cents ($ 0.02 to $ 0.04) per ounce (30 ml) on sugary drinks, the largest source of added sugar in the diet of Americans , since 2014.

While some of these taxes have been successful, others face a reaction from local merchants and consumers, with Cook County, Illinois, repealing its tax only two months after it went into effect.

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Britain: Consumers not sold on obesity risk message

Britain's sugar tax was implemented last April in an attempt to combat childhood obesity and encourage soft drink producers to reformulate their products or reduce portion sizes.

On how the manufacturers responded, HM Revenue & Customs – says that between the announcement of the tax in 2016 and its implementation two years later, more than 50% of the volume drinks had enough sugar removed to cease to be affected by the fee.

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Other parts of Europe

In France, a tax on sugary drinks, including those made with artificial sweeteners, was introduced with the aim of promoting healthy lifestyles in children and avoiding risks of obesity and type 2 diabetes.

In Norway, the sugar tax is paid on imported and domestically produced sugar. All candy, chocolate, chewing gum and items like cookies are also taxed. The non-alcoholic beverage rate extends to all sugary drinks, including those with artificial sweeteners. The sugar tax was designed to increase revenue from small luxuries – it was not intended to improve health.

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