Singapore’s Nutri-Grade to spur the adoption of nutrient labeling in the Asia-Pacific Comment –

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Singapore’s Ministry of Public Health Introduced the “Nutrigrade” compulsory nutrition labeling system Packaged beverages and automatic beverage dispensers December 30, 2022.* The Nutrigrade Rating System is the latest weapon in the government’s war on diabetes and obesity.

The new “Nutrition Label” and “Nutrition Information Panel (NIP)” regulations require manufacturers and retailers to display the “Nutrition Grade” mark on the front of package label of product packages. The new rules apply to all sugar-sweetened beverages, including milk, juice, juice drinks, drinking yoghurt and powdered dilutable beverages. Products are assigned a color-coded rating of A (dark green), B (light green), C (orange), or D (red) based on grams of sugar and saturated fat per 100ml. , with less than 1 gram of sugar and a saturated fat content of 0.7 g or less per 100 ml, healthier beverages are assigned the highest grade A. Saturated fat per 100 ml receives the lowest rating of D.

A and B rated beverages carry the Nutrigrade label or the Healthy Choice symbol (HCS) is a certification logo for healthier food and beverages introduced by the Singapore Health Promotion Board in 1998. However, C and D rated products are required to print Nutrigrade labels. In particular, advertising D-rated beverages is prohibited. Going forward, the agency aims to have all products bearing the HCS symbol have an A or B rating. Restaurants and drink stalls must also label their online and printed menus. The Health Promotion Commission has announced plans to conduct regular checks to ensure beverage brands comply with the new regulations.

Front-of-pack nutrition labeling systems are intended to help consumers identify sugary, fatty and unhealthy beverages off crowded retail shelves. Color coding and rating is easier and more accessible to the layperson than comparing different label claims such as fat-free, low-calorie, and low-sugar. This allows consumers to make informed choices based on product formulation rather than marketing talk, branding and promotions. A survey found that product choices are attractive to 53% of Singapore consumers, whose product choices are often or always influenced by health labels (information on protein/sugar/fiber/carbohydrate content) displayed on product packaging.

Traffic lights in the UK, Nutri-Score in France, Scandinavia keyhole, Australian Health Star Ratings, and Chilean Warning Labels promote nutrition awareness. Such systems, certifications, and logos encourage consumers to make healthier dietary choices and encourage manufacturers pressure to develop healthier products. Moreover, these systems offer authorities a gentler, less destructive and less controversial policy to limit the consumption of sugary drinks, rather than an outright ban or sugar/sin tax.Singapore If the Nutrigrade label is successful, the concept will accelerate the adoption of such a system in neighboring Asia-Pacific countries, particularly Thailand and the Philippines, which already impose sugar taxes.

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