Colour code system for salt, fat level in food - Rajitha
September 9, 2016 03:36 pm
Minister of Health Dr Rajitha Senaratne today said that displaying the levels of salt and fat in food products via colour codes will be made mandatory in Sri Lanka.
He stated that the government has already introduced the “traffic lights system” for sugary drinks and in addition to this they have already informed the soft drinks industry that a taxation system will be introduced for products with high levels of added sugar.
“Every cola bottle has 9 spoons of sugar (35g) in it. The recommended daily intake of sugar for a small child is only 19g,” he said, addressing a press conference in Colombo following the conclusion of the 69th session of the WHO Regional Committee for South-East Asia. “That is the reason they are getting sick.”
So in the future not only for sugar, the traffic lights system will also be introduced for salt and fat while in another couple of days we will start imposing taxes, he said.
The Health Minister also said that they intend to introduce a free health checkup system which will be mandatory for every person in the country.
Not in Sri Lanka but in any part of the world this is the first time a health checkup system is given free of charge from the public sector, he said.
“All these years if you had to get a health checkup you have to go to a private hospital. No health checkup was given to the people from the public sector.”
He said that 842 lifestyle centers have already been established in the rural areas all over the country for this purpose.
More than educating the people, these lifestyle centers will check the blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar and also the BMI.
From these four tests we can see whether he/she has some NCD problem and if he/she needs further treatment then we refer to the closest hospital for further treatment, he said.
He said that the ministry has also set up 906 well women centers and that in addition to the aforementioned tests they will also carry out breast cancer tests and the cervical cancer tests for women.
“In about 2018 I want to make this compulsory to all the people in the country, for the entire population to get checkups.”
This is a new system we have adapted for the first time in the world, he said.
“I want to extend these services in the second stage to another district medical center I am going to set up with a Singaporean establishment.”
“What they have done in Vietnam in the Ho Chi Minh City, I am going to adapt the same system here there we will do all the advance checkups except MRI and CT scans,” he said.
We spend a lot of money for this but long-term we save a lot of money