Saudi to fine restaurants serving soft drinks
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Saudi to fine restaurants serving soft drinks

Saudi to fine restaurants serving soft drinks

New legislation comes as the country tries to tackle a diabetes epidemic

Gulf Business

Restaurants serving soft drinks and energy drinks in Saudi Arabia will reportedly be fined under a new law.

Saudi Gazette
reports that the new legislation, issued by the Ministry of Health through the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, aims to protect consumer health.

“The Ministry of Health aims to curb the negative effects of fast food restaurants on consumers’ health. Energy drinks and soda are extremely harmful to health and this new law will be a turning point for consumers to turn toward healthier food and drink options,” said Ministry of Health first aid assistant Hisham Al-Khashan, according to the publication.

“Consumers are responsible for their own health but restaurants and food product providers are also responsible for the health of their customers.”

He said the ministry had built 100 first aid centres in Saudi Arabia to train medical staff following a rise in the prevalence of diabetes and other lifestyle diseases in the kingdom.

“Saudi society is suffering from a diabetes epidemic as many consume a great amount of energy drinks and soda on a daily basis while enjoying a fast food culture,” Al-Khashan added.

There were 3.5 million cases of diabetes in the kingdom last year, according to the International Diabetes Federation.

The organisation said the total cost of diabetes per person in Saudi Arabia in 2015 was $1,145, with a prevalence rate of 17.6 per cent in adults aged between 20 and 79.


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