Saturday, July 11

Too much sugar! Health minister cautions bubble tea lovers


Drinking too much bubble tea too often can lead to some health problems. Bernama File Photo

KUCHING: Bubble tea is now the latest craze to hit the city, but consumers are being told to avoid the drink due to its excessive sugar content.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dzulkefly Ahmad today advised Malaysians to avoid the popular bubble tea drink as they may contain twice the recommended daily sugar intake in a single serving.

“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 may seem,” Dzulkefly said in a Malay Mail report after launching the “Kurangkan Gula, Hidup Sihat” campaign at the Giant Hypermarket in Kuala Lumpur 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 the 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 the 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.