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Sugar-Sweetened Beverages

Basic facts

A can of sugar-sweetened beverage (12 fl oz or 368g):

1)    typically contains about 130-150 kcal

2)    more than 90% of calories comes from non-milk extrinsic sugar (NMES)

3)    The NMES is commonly in a form of sucrose or high-fructose corn syrup.

4)    The micronutrient content in SSB is mostly negligible, hence the term 'empty calories'.


Sugar facts

1)     Humans do not need to consume sugar-sweetened beverages to function normally

2)    Your body can get all the sugar it needs for daily living from the carbohydrates in a well-balanced diet.

3)    Excessive sugar you consume is stored as body fat.


Consequences of excessive SSB intake

1)    Drinking too much SSB may displace other essential nutrients. This can lead to vitamins deficiency.

2)    SSB has a strong link with dental carries which can lead to pain, loss of teeth, loss of self-confidence and self-esteem.

3)    Increased risk of obesity:

  • Individual with obesity has an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer.

4)    Increased risk of diabetes:

  • Diabetes leads to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke and kidney failure. 
  • Diabetes is the single biggest cause of blindness in Brunei Darussalam.
  • Diabetes is the third top killer in Brunei Darussalam (Health Information Booklet, 2016)

5)    The combination of obesity and diabetes make other complications such as heart disease, stroke and kidney problems even more difficult to treat.

Reduce Intake of Sugary Foods and Beverages 

Key recommendation 1:  Limit intake of sugar-sweetened beverages. 

  • Water is the best choice– drink at least eight glasses (2 litre) of water a day.
  • Avoid or limit drinks with high sugar (ie containing more than 6 grams of sugar per 100mls).
  • Read nutrition information panel on packaging and compare products
  • Choose drinks with the 'Healthier Choice' logo or symbol
  • Limit your intake of fruit juice or smoothies to 120ml a day.
  • Eat whole fruit instead of drinking fruit juice


Key recommendation 2: Limit intake of sugary foods. 

  • Choose fruits and vegetables  instead of sugary foods.
  • High sugary foods such as confectionaries, chocolate, ice cream, kuih, sweets, honey and candies should only be consumed as occasional treats or taken in small amount.
  • Choose unsweetened wholegrain breakfast cereals instead of sugar-coated cereals.
  • Choose reduced sugar jam and spread.
  • Avoid using sugar as flavour enhancer in cooking.


Key recommendation 3: Drink at least eight glasses of water a day. 

  • Choose water instead of sugary drinks during main meals and when eating out. This helps to save money and reduce calorie intake
  • Drink water before, during and after physical activities
  • Encourage children to drink water if thirsty
  • Always carry a water bottle including schoolchildren
  • Make water as the main choice during family gathering such as birthday celebrations, weddings and any formal events
  • Add a wedge of lime or lemon to water for taste if necessary.

To check the amount of sugar in different drink categories:
​Click here
(This link contains information on sugar content as displayed on the Nutritional Information panel of more than 500 different types of beverages that were collected and compiled. The data collection was conducted in February 2015)

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