Healthier Ingredient Development Scheme

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Mr Darryl David
MP for Ang Mo Kio GRC 

Question No. 1402

To ask the Minister for Health what measures can be taken to restrict or control food and beverage products with a high glycaemic index (GI) so as to reduce the risk of diabetes among our population.

Written Answer

1        Consuming large amounts of high GI food is one of the risk factors for diabetes.  Common high GI foods consumed in Singapore include refined staple grain products such as white rice and white bread, and sugar-sweetened beverages like soda. 

2        From 2007 to 2016, the Health Promotion Board’s efforts to work with beverage manufacturers has resulted in a 30% reduction in the median sugar level of sugar-sweetened beverages sold in Singapore.  More recently, seven leading beverage manufacturers whose products comprise 70% of Singapore’s beverage market, have committed to limit the sugar content of their beverages sold in Singapore to 12% or less.  This is the first time major beverage companies have made such a public commitment, as part of their move towards healthier offerings for consumers.  

3        These efforts are a good start but we are not stopping here.  MOH is studying additional measures to further reduce sugar consumption in Singapore, taking reference from experiences in other countries.  These include the use of warning labels and advertising restrictions on pre-packaged beverages with high sugar content. 

4        For refined staple grain products, the Ministry of Health (MOH) will invest $20 million over the next three years under the Healthier Ingredient Development Scheme (HIDS) to support food manufacturers to innovate and produce healthier ingredients such as wholegrain noodles and brown rice bee hoon which have lower GI but taste just as nice as the original versions.  

5        In addition, HPB’s Healthier Dining Programme (HDP) encourages consumers to choose wholegrain, “Low GI” and lower-calorie meal options.  As of August 2017, there are over 3,100 food and beverage stalls across 67 hawker centres and 450 coffee shops offering at least one healthier option in their menus.  Our target is to increase this to 40% of stalls across all hawker centres and coffee shops by mid-2019. 

6        These are part of HPB’s efforts to help Singaporeans choose healthier food options and lead healthier lives.  

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