"Sugar label" planned to curb chronic diseases
Public Health Minister Pradit Sintavanarong said on Tuesday that the ministry is mulling the launch of sugar labels on food packages, as a way to control the growth of chronic diseases, diabetes in particular.
He said that in the labels, consumers will be educated the risks of developing the disease when consumption hits a certain level.
The Food and Drug Administration is studying the feasibility study of this plan. A discussion with food product manufacturers will follow, to ensure that the plan would not affect the cost.
There could also be a label to indicate sodium levels.
Snacks would be the main target of this campaign.
Sanga Damapong, a nutrition expert, said that snack consumption has been on the rise. Many of the available items are high in energy and no government unit has been trying to put control on the level or the level of carbohydrate, fat and sodium or to promote fruits as replacement.
He admitted that fruit prices are high but there should be a mechanism to promote fruit consumption.
He supported the ministryâ€™s plan on sugar and sodium labels but suggested that the labels must be presented in an easy-to-understand pattern.