Singapore to become the first country to ban ads for very sugary drinks

SSingapore will become the first country in the world to ban ads for the most unhealthy sugary drinks in its latest move to combat rising diabetes rates, the health ministry said Thursday.

Products deemed “less healthy” must now display labels grading their nutritional and sugar content, with those considered to be most unhealthy banned from appearing in ads across all media platforms, including broadcast, print and online channels.

“We urge SSB (sugar-sweetened beverages) manufacturers to consider reformulating their drinks to contain less sugar even as we further study these measures,” it said.

The ministry said it will obtain industry feedback in the coming months on how to implement the measures and announce more details next year.

According to the International Diabetes Federation, 13.7 per cent of adults suffer from diabetes in Singapore, one of the highest rates among developed nations.

Other marketing bans around the world have focused on restricting children’s exposure to junk food ads.

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