Why FSSAI is cracking down on junk food

Junk foods

Junk food, as we know, is pre-prepared food with low nutritional value and is behind many health problems. They are high in fats, salt, sugar and calories. Many awareness campaigns have been undertaken to inform people about the harmful effects of junk food. Junk food includes fast food, salted foods, gum, candy and sugary carbonated beverages.

Junk food accessibility in schools has increased the rates of childhood obesity. There are certain microbes present in the stomach that help body cells to battle various diseases. Junk food kills these microbes and increases the occurrence of diseases and causes weight gain.

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has proposed a ban on the sale of junk foods in school canteens, hostel kitchens or within 50 metres of the school campus. Food business operators must also obtain a license before supplying food to schools. This step was taken to get school children to eat better.

Today, many countries are trying to curb junk food consumption. To reduce junk food consumption through price control, various forms of taxation have been implemented in many countries. Denmark introduced the world's first fast-food tax in October 2011, but it was an unpopular measure. It lasted only a little over a year. Hungary, Mexico and Norway have also imposed taxes on the consumption of unhealthy foods.

The World Health Organization recommends that governments should take actions to limit exposure to food marketing to reduce junk food popularity among children. Junk food is known to cause obesity as well as associated health problems and diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

The FSSAI measure may just be the first step on a long road in the fight against junk food.

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