Junk food and sugary drinks get costlier as FSSAI calls for fat tax

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As a practical method to curb the increase of sedentary lifestyle conditions and disorders like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and the blot of hypertension, India’s food regulator, The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), on Monday proposed to impose an additional fat tax on all packaged products, processed food and sweetened beverages.

Although FSSAI did not specify the quantum of tax to be levied, the FSSAI panel also recommended a slew of measures, including ban on advertisements and promotion of junk food on children’s television channels, websites and social media networks and strict labelling norms for products with high salt, sugar and trans-fat content.

The proposal by the Indian food ombudsman has not gone down well with the companies and restaurants. Food industry giants such as ITC Ltd, Dabur Ltd, Nestle India Ltd and Coca-Cola India Pvt. Ltd refused to comment on the matter.

The proposed tax means that people who have money can afford to be unhealthy,” said Ashish Saxena, CEO of Chili’s American Grill & Bar.

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