Malaysia Health Ministry Urges Restaurants To Reduce Sweet Drinks Sold
Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019 | 902 Views
Following announcement of the sugar tax which would take effect on 1 April 2019, Malaysia Ministry of Health is urging mamak shops to reduce the number of sweet drinks sold. Soft drinks with more than five grams of sugar or sugar-based sweetener per 100 ml, and juice or vegetable-based drinks with over 12 grams of sugar per 100 ml will be taxed 40 sen per litre.
Malaysia has the greatest obesity rates in Southeast Asia which contributes to chronic diseases like diabetes and hypertension. Deputy Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye said that the ministry hoped that the soda tax would deter consumers from drinks with high sugar content and change their habit of consuming sweet beverages. Moreover, Dr Lee also said that the soda tax would skew beverage companies to produce drinks with lesser sugar content.
The sweet beverages that would be taxed only makes up a small proportion of unhealthy food and drink. Although consumers could switch to alternatives such as artificial sugar or consume sweet beverages that do not fall under the sugar tax, Dr Lee expresses that they “hope in the long run, consumers will be accustomed to consuming drinks that contain less sugar.’