Singapore Bans Ads of Drinks with High Sugar Content

Category: Health


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. consumption / kənˈsʌmp ʃən / (n) – the act or process of using, eating, or drinking something

    Balanced food consumption should be encouraged to keep a healthy lifestyle.

  2. obesity / oʊˈbi sɪ ti / (n) – the condition of being excessively overweight

    Eating food that is too sweet or too salty may lead to obesity.

  3. chronic / ˈkrɒn ɪk / (adj) – continuing or occurring repeatedly for a long time

    The chronic back pain he has been experiencing is a symptom of a serious illness.

  4. label / ˈleɪ bəl / (v) – to put a piece of paper or another material on something that contains information about it

    Manufacturers label their products with the expiration date.

  5. outright / ˈaʊtˌraɪt / (adj) – complete, total, or certain

    Fans celebrated the team’s outright victory against the other team.


Read the text below.

Singapore announced an advertising ban on drinks with high sugar content.

Advertisements of sweet beverages like soft drinks, juices, energy drinks, and instant coffee will soon be prohibited in the country. The ban will be implemented across all types of print, online, and broadcast media to discourage people from consuming too much sugar. It was announced at the 2019 Singapore Health and Biomedical Congress as one of the steps taken by the government to fight diabetes.

Singapore has been reported to be one of the biggest consumers of sugar in the world. The excessive sugar consumption has led to an increased number of citizens developing obesity and chronic illnesses such as heart diseases and diabetes. This prompted the government to come up with policies that would lessen healthcare issues among its citizens, which in turn could lessen healthcare costs for the government.

To come up with the initiatives to fight diabetes, the Singaporean government held public consultations about ways to reduce sugar consumption. The results of the survey revealed that more than 70% of the respondents support the implementation of advertising regulations that influence consumers on which products to buy.

In line with the ban, sweet beverages sold in the market will also be labeled according to their sugar content to let people know how much sugar they will consume.

Apart from these initiatives, the government wants to come up with other sustainable long-term solutions. They are carefully examining two other proposals from the public consultation, which include introducing an additional tax on sugary drinks and issuing an outright ban on high-sugar drinks.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you think the government’s decision to ban ads of drinks with high sugar content will lead to better health for the citizens? Explain.
• Do you think implementing a similar advertising ban in your country would be beneficial? Why or why not?

Discussion B

• How should the government educate citizens about food consumption to help them minimize health issues?
• Aside from drinks with high sugar content, what other food products should be regulated to reduce health risks?