The government has just announced the price drop in granulated and fine granulated sugar by 10 cents per kilo starting 1 September 2018 to reduce the rising cost of living. At the same time, it is also looking at introducing a soda tax to encourage healthy living and to reduce sugar consumption. Sounds contradictory, no? Various studies have proven that sugar is the main cause of diabetes (in 2016, over 3.6 million Malaysians aged 18 and above were diabetic) and obesity. Malaysia is also the most obese country in Southeast Asia based on the Economist Intelligence Unit’s “Tackling Obesity in Asean” report.
National Diabetes Institute board member, Prof Datuk Dr Anuar Zaini Md Zain told The Star that the price control on sugar has had little impact on the nation’s diabetes statistics, adding that all food and beverages which have high sugar content should be taxed.
We spoke to a few nutritionists, and here’s what they have to say about the issue: