Malaysia to sweeten sugarless drink pricesJanuary 11th, 2011 - 2:32 pm ICT by IANS
Kuala Lumpur, Jan 11 (IANS) The Malaysian government is considering to cut prices of sugarless beverages, as part of the campaign that it unleashed two years ago when sugar imports from India were hit.”This will encourage consumers to order sugarless drinks. It will be good for their health and it will also be good for their pockets,” Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Ismail Sabri said Monday.
This is an effort to curb the high level of sugar consumption by the people of the country known for their sweet tooth.
“We hope food outlet operators are receptive to this idea so it can be implemented soon,” Sabri told reporters after a two-hour dialogue with representatives of restaurateurs and coffee shop owners.
Malaysian Muslim Restaurant Owners Association (Presma), Malaysian Indian Restaurant Owners Association (Prima), the Federal Territory Bumiputra Hawkers and Petty Traders Association and the Malaysia-Singapore Coffee shop Proprietors General Association attended the interactive session.
Food outlet operators are receptive to the move to charge different prices for drinks with sugar and those without, The Star newspaper reported.
Malaysia is a major importer of sugar from India and elsewhere. High sugar consumption in food and drinks is a subject of recurring public debate in Malaysia.
Health and lifestyle surveys have shown that Malaysians on an average consume more sugar than is considered healthy by the World Health Organization standards.
“Do you know that a spoonful of sugar provides 20 kilo calories? To burn that you would need to climb 14 floors of stair. Limit yourself to one spoon of sugar in your beverage. Less sugar better health,” an advertising campaign by the ministry of health says.
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