SUBANG JAYA, July 25 — Consumers should avoid bubble tea drinks that may contain over twice the recommended daily sugar intake in a single serving, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dzulkefly Ahmad said today.
He said Malaysians must be proactive in taking care of their own health and educate themselves about the sugar content of the food and beverages they choose to consume.
“Bubble tea has become a popular drink and contains excessive sugar content of about 20 teaspoonful (100g) for 500ml, while the ideal amount is eight teaspoons (40g) for daily intake. This is well in excess.
“What is important is for consumers to be smart and make informed decisions, and not consume such products no matter how interesting it seem,” Dzulkefly told the media after launching the “Kurangkan Gula, Hidup Sihat” campaign at the Giant Hypermarket here today.
The minister explained that this was not something that the authorities could regulate and it was up to consumers to be mindful not to end up consuming more sugar than is healthy.
He added that rather than weaning themselves of sugary beverages, Malaysians should avoid exposing themselves and their families to these products in the first place.
Dzulkefly said the campaign launched today encourages food and beverage manufacturers to moderate the sugar content in their products to no more than 5g (one teaspoon) of sugar for every 100ml.
The minister also reiterated that the so-called “soda tax” that was levied on high-sugar drinks at the start of this month was part of efforts to reduce excessive sugar consumption.
On whether authorities will engage bubble tea operators to convince them to reduce sugar content in their drinks, he said this was not necessary at the moment.
On July 1, the government began levying a duty of 40 sen per litre on sweetened beverages with a sugar content exceeding 5g per 100ml.