SINGAPORE: A national nutrition survey by the Health Promotion Board (HPB) shows more young Singaporeans, mostly between the ages of 18 and 29, are consuming an average of one sweetened beverage a day.
Over 1,600 people aged between 18 and 69 took part in the survey in 2010.
But the HPB wants to nip this problem in the bud and is collaborating with industry partners to reduce the sugar content in popular drinks.
As of last year, 351 drinks have been stamped with the Healthier Choice symbol — a big leap from the 19 in 2009.
The HPB has also launched a campaign to urge school—going children, as well as youth, to develop the habit of drinking water rather than a sweetened drink.
The Board said more Singaporeans are choosing wholegrains — spurred in part by the increase in the availability of these options.
Through initiatives such as the Healthier Hawker Centre and FINEST Food programmes, HPB has worked on making wholegrain options readily available.
This means options like wholemeal mee noodles are now easily available to hawkers so traditional dishes are healthier without being less tasty.
More people are also buying wholegrain products.
In 2012, wholegrain bread and rice constituted 20 per cent of all rice and bread sales — a jump from nine per cent in 2009.
There’s also been an increase in the proportion of Singaporeans using unsaturated oils in home cooking.
Unsaturated oils are considered to be more "heart—healthy". Cooking oils labelled as healthier choices accounted for about 60 per cent of all oil sales in 2012, up from 40 per cent in 2009.
The overall improvements come following a National Nutrition Survey carried out by the Board in 2010.
HPB’s chief executive officer Mr Ang Hak Seng said: "The research findings suggest that the recent national public health efforts in promoting wholegrain intake have had positive effects, which support this strategy and encourages us to continue nudging consumers toward healthier eating habits."
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