Antara, Jakarta – Packaged sweetened drinks are flooding the market. The Health Ministry's Director of Non-Infectious Diseases Prevention and Control dr. Elvieda Sariwati said the ease of obtaining sweetened beverages causes the call to reduce sugar intake ineffective.
"We ask people to stop [consuming sugar] but we still provide them," said Elvieda in an online public discussion on the control of sugary drinks held Tuesday, August 23.
Thus, her side encourages the imposition of excise on food products that have a high health risk. The Health Ministry in tandem with the Finance Ministry is drafting a Government Regulation to impose excise on packaged sugary drinks.
According to Elvieda, the affordable prices of such products made it easy for everyone to purchase them. "It attracts people and is affordable for low-class to high-class people because of its cheap prices," she added.
61.27 percent of the population aged over 3 years consume sweetened drinks more than once a day, she informed.
The Health Ministry also encourages low-sugar, low-salt, low-fat foods and beverages in schools and workplaces. Elvieda calls for support from all parties to expedite the issuance of the regulation. "We target the regulation to complete this year and to be implemented next year at the latest," she concluded.