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Do you also want a ‘warning mark’ on packaged ‘junk food’, know what people said in the survey

Survey: Seven out of 10 Indians are in favor of displaying a “warning mark” on packaged foods high in fat, sugar and salt. This has come to the fore in a new survey. The study, conducted by community social media platform ‘LocalCircles’, revealed that 31 per cent of 11,439 consumers are in favor of “red signs of warning” on such packaged products.

Know what is people’s opinion
While 39 per cent said that in addition to the red sign, “healthy products should have a green or orange mark” while 20 per cent said each product should have a star rating based on its ingredients. Only eight per cent of the survey respondents said that “none of the above is required, packaged food products should continue to be sold without any warning or indication.”

Every year about 58 lakh people in India are in the throes of death due to NCDs – Estimates
There has been a significant increase in the consumption of ‘junk food’ (unhealthy food items), especially packaged and processed food items among Indians in the last two decades. This has adversely affected public health as most of these foods contain high amounts of sugar or salt and bad fats, resulting in an increase in non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as obesity as well as diabetes and heart disease. There is also an increase in such situations. It is estimated that about 58 lakh people die every year in India due to NCDs.

people be able to differentiate
The survey said that regulation is one solution to address this rapidly growing problem, which will help consumers make choices when planning to consume processed foods. It said that people should be able to differentiate between packaged and processed foods and foods with high amounts of salt, sugar, fat (HFSS).

Scheme for starting HSR proposed
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India has proposed a scheme to introduce Health Star Rating (HSR) for packaged food products. Foods with an HSR rate on a five-star scale are based on factors such as healthy factors such as energy, saturated fat, sodium, total sugar, and protein, and natural ingredients.

There is an objection to the star rating
Despite criticism from consumer activist groups and food experts, the regulator has decided to go ahead with a new star rating system for packaged foods and beverages. Consumer rights activist groups have written to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, warning that such a system can easily be manipulated by industry, compromising public health. He added that ‘nutritional information’ though provides some idea about the product, it does not help consumers with regards to a healthier choice.

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