FSSAI recommends high taxation on junk food and beverages to curb lifestyle diseases
Food packets and sweetened beverages in Indian markets may soon experience a high tax rate recommended by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). The move is seen as a step towards reducing junk food consumption among the children and curb diseases like obesity, diabetes and heart issues.
In a report prepared by the FSSAI on ‘Consumption of Fat, Sugar and Salt (FSS) and its health effects on India’s population’, experts have suggested an additional tax imposition on processed foods and sugar-sweetened beverages. The recommendations in the report also include an absolute ban on the televised branding and advertising of these food products which are rich in fat, sugar and salt. This ban would be specially levied on children’s channel, social media and websites where content for children is published. This special emphasis on children is made to prevent the high rate of obesity, diabetes that today’s generation suffer from at such a tender age.
The report consisting of inputs from 11 members from various domains like health sciences institutes, medicine, dietetics, nutritionists has also suggested the ban on celebrity endorsement of HFSS products in order to curb the issues relating to lifestyle diseases which mainly include obesity, diabetes and heart problems.
This recommendation report is also published in the British Medical Journal. According to the research team that prepared the report under the direction of Dr. Anoop Misra, chairman at the Fortis C-DOC centres for diabetes, metabolic diseases and endocrinology, the money that is generated from the tax, can be utilized to encourage the consumption of healthy food. The guidelines in the report also suggest that the food labels must let the consumers know about the proportion of total calories, amount of carbohydrates, fat, proteins and all essential minerals.
This recommendation report can be a great benchmark for the manufacturing industries to know how to mitigate the effect of fats and sugar through the processed food products.