OBJECTIVE: Singapore, an urbanised, developed nation, with a high reliance on food importation and a high prevalence of eating out is facing rising rates of obesity and diabetes. The objective of the current study was to characterise and evaluate the Singapore government's policies to improve the food environment and to identify and prioritise concrete actions.
DESIGN: The Healthy Food Environment Policy Index tool and process were used. An expert panel rated the Singapore government's implementation of forty-seven indicators compared with international best practice in 2018. Indicators were prioritised, and specific recommendations were proposed by panel.
PARTICIPANTS: Twenty experts primarily from academia.
RESULTS: As compared with international benchmarks, the level of implementation of most indicators (thirty-three indicators, 70 %) by the Singapore government was evaluated as being at least moderate. Highly rated indicators included those related to provision of healthier meals at school, supporting the use of healthier ingredients by food vendors and governmental leadership. More policy indicators (6, 26 %) as compared with infrastructure support indicators (2, 8 %) received a 'very little or no implementation' rating. After rating, the experts prioritised eleven indicators and proposed thirty-one actions informed by several considerations including those of effectiveness, political acceptability, feasibility and unique characteristics of food retail in Singapore.
CONCLUSIONS: Supported by documented evidence, an independent expert panel identified areas of strengths and provided specific recommendations to meaningfully improve the Singapore food environment to facilitate healthier eating. Fundamental recommendations including improving nutrition profiling and strengthening monitoring systems have the potential to positively influence environments across policy domains.