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Drink manufacturers urged to speed up process to reduce sugar content

Saturday, January 05, 2019

HEALTH Minister Dr Christopher Tufton is imploring drink manufacturers to speed up the process of reducing the sugar content in their products.

The minister, who was addressing the launch of Coldfield Manufacturing Limited's (Big Jo) zero-sugar drinks at the Clan Carthy Primary School in St Andrew on Thursday, said the move is a critical part of the national effort to reduce non-communicable diseases (NCD).

He commended the company for the move, which he said, is in the interest of public health.

He noted that there is a strong link between excessive consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, childhood obesity, and the development of NCDs later in life.

“The effort of Coldfield Manufacturing with this new product and others, who have begun to reformulate their sugary drinks, is a good thing, because you are raising the standard in the industry,” he pointed out.

Dr Tufton used the occasion to remind the public that the guidelines regarding the restriction of sugary drinks in public schools and health facilities are now in effect.

He urged vendors who sell on the compounds of public educational institutions to buy into the campaign, and implored parents, teachers and administrators to ensure that children do not take sugary drinks to school.

“We are urging and encouraging the parents to pack the lunch kits with appropriate food items and beverages that are healthy,” the minister said.

Coldfield said it will make its zero-sugar drinks available islandwide in time for next week's reopening of schools.

The beverages will be packaged in eight-ounce pouches and recyclable 11.5 ounce bottles.

— JIS