Sipping Towards Health: Singapore's Sweet Revolution in Coffee Culture

Published on : 10/31/23
Reading time : 5 min
  • Singapore faces a growing health crisis directly linked to excessive sugar consumption. In response, Singapore's Health Promotion Board is launching a new campaign to reduce sugar in Kopis. Why is too much sugar bad for you and what are the health benefits of coffee? Read the science behind it from certified nutritionists.

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    On average, a Singaporean’s daily sugar intake was 11 teaspoons, one more than the recommended maximum sugar allowance (10 teaspoons). According to the National Nutrition Survey Singapore 2022, sugary beverages alone contributed 52% of daily total sugar intake and Singapore's Health Promotion Board (HPB) associated this with 51% higher risk of diabetes. On the current trend, one million Singaporean residents are predicted to have diabetes by 2050 if nothing changes. 

    In response to this crisis and to promote healthier living, HPB has embarked on a behavioural change campaign to transform how Singaporeans enjoy their daily Kopi. Building on HPB’s successful Nutri-Grade initiative to reduce sugar consumption, this new campaign not only brings forth a revolution in the coffee culture but a new era of conscious consumption.

    The Perks of Siew Dai

    Singaporeans are renowned for their love of Kopi, but the excess sugar in these beloved brews has long been a concern for local health authorities. A traditional Kopi has 22.5g of sugar added in as the status quo option. With the HPB’s new initiative, the sugar content in every Kopi will be automatically reduced so that the default coffee will only have 16.25g of sugar, that’s 27.8% less. This translates to a decrease in calories from 90kcal to 65kcal per cup.

    Importantly, Singaporeans will automatically receive less sugar in their Kopis and if they want more, will need to actively request it, empowering consumers to make a conscious decision on their sugar intake. This nudge towards promoting healthier choices is a significant step towards curbing the rising rates of diabetes.

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    Brewing a Healthier Nation

    But fear not, coffee enthusiasts! This campaign doesn’t mean bidding farewell to your favorite cup of Kopi. In fact, coffee itself offers numerous health benefits. According to a survey conducted by the European Federation of the Associations of Dietitians (EFAD), enjoying 1-3 cups of coffee a day has clear advantages

    Moderate coffee consumption has been associated with increased alertness and improved mood. Moreover, numerous international studies compiled by Harvard's School of Public Health found it decreased the risk of heart disease and Type 2 Diabetes. Koh Puay Eng, Clinical Nutrition Manager at Sodexo and certified at Singapore’s Nutrition & Dietetics Association, also weighs in on the health benefits, Coffee naturally contains antioxidants polyphenol and magnesium. Unsweetened coffee is a good choice over sugary beverages (soft drink, fizzy drink).

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    Embrace the Change

    Embracing the HPB’s campaign and opting for a default ‘Kopi siew dai’ signifies more than just a change in your daily caffeine fix; it signifies a commitment to a healthier lifestyle. By sipping consciously and enjoying the benefits of reduced sugar intake, every Singaporean can contribute to building a healthier, happier nation.

    So, the next time you're sipping your favourite coffee, savour the taste of a healthier future. And always remember to ask for less sugar, 1 teaspoon is enough, sugar-free is even better. Singapore's Kopi culture is evolving, one mindful cup at a time. 


    Sodexo is committed to supporting population health and collaborates closely with certified nutritionists in menu development. Sodexo's cafes, Aspretto, not only ensure a lower sugar content to their products but provide fairtrade and ethically sourced coffee beans. 

    Find out how Sodexo can support your nutritional needs here.  

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