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Malaysians move to reduce sugar content in beverages

Kuala Lumpur, Jan 1 (IANS) Famous for their sweet tooth and reeling under sugar shortage, Malaysians are embarking on a campaign to reduce sugar content in food and beverages.

The health ministry is to meet with 60 representatives of the food and beverage industry to coax them to reduce the sugar content in their products, Deputy Health Minister Datuk Rosnah Abdul Rashid Shirlin said Friday.

She would chair the meeting Jan 12 that would be attended also by representatives from the domestic trade, cooperatives and consumerism ministry.

Shirlin said several companies had reduced the sugar content in their food and beverages to reduce sugar consumption, The Star newspaper said.

According to the Consumers Association of Penang (CAP), Malaysians consumed 26 teaspoons of sugar a day compared with the recommended seven tea spoons, she said.

‘We have to enlighten the people that excessive sugar intake is harmful to health,’ Bernama, the official news agency, quoted Shirlin as saying.

Recent media reports have indicated that the Malaysian government was finding it difficult to procure sugar from the international market due to worldwide shortage caused by fall in production of leading sugar exporters including India and Brazil.

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