SEOUL, March 21 (Korea Bizwire) – The Korean government is taking action to encourage citizens to reduce their sugar intake, amidst concerns that the spread of obesity is becoming a global issue.
The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety announced that it will be establishing strategies to reduce the amount of sugar that Koreans consume. The targets for sugar consumption, sugar limits in certain products, and product labelling will be decided by the end of the month.
Although Koreans do not consume sugar to the same excess as those in Western countries, the government fears that children and adolescents face health risks as they are exposed to more sugar in their normal diet.
A campaign to promote awareness about the dangers of high sugar intake will be launched to help change perspectives.
Controversy arose when some recipes using massive amounts of sugar were introduced on TV programs. New recipes that fully bring out the flavors of ingredients with the least amount of sweetening, and ways to use ingredients that can function as sugar substitutes will be developed and distributed to restaurants and homes.
Stricter regulations will be implemented for displaying the amount of sugar in instant coffee, snacks, processed foods and beverages. Technology to produce substances that lower sugar content while maintaining sweetness will also be developed and distributed.
However, the Korean government won’t be considering a sugar tax, a policy that has become increasingly popular abroad. By imposing taxes equivalent to 130 won per can of cola, the UK is hoping to minimize the spread of obesity. Mexico and France, which adopted sugar taxes prior to the UK, are seeing positive results with decreasing soft drink consumption.
Before the war on sugar, the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety took action to reduce sodium intake among Koreans. As a result, average sodium consumption decreased 26 percent from 5,257㎎ in 2005 to 3,890 ㎎ in 2014.
“Although Koreans are not consuming excessive amounts of sugar yet, we plan to implement measures to prevent sugar consumption from increasing”, officials at the ministry said.
By Francine Jung (firstname.lastname@example.org)