Why govt cannot escape dangers of junk food

Health minister says that there is no plan to define junk food

prahlad

Prahlad Rao | July 30, 2015 | New Delhi


#junk food   #health   #maggi   #blood pressure   #diabetes  

The government has not learnt anything even after Maggi controversy. It is equipped to do but the will is lacking. The union government has shamelessly admitted today that it has not defined what constitutes junk food.

Minister of state (health and family welfare) Shripad Naik informed the Rajya Sabha today that there is no proposal under consideration of the ministry to define junk food under the Food Safety and Standards (FSS) Act, 2006.

Knowledgeable parent is aware of the dangers of junk food but it is rarely enforced leading to various ailments like diabetes, high blood pressure and stroke. Research has shown that junk food causes energy depletion and the ability to concentrate for extended periods of time. It is prime reason for obesity in children. As junk food affects growth of a child regular consumption of junk food negatively impacts self-esteem and confidence.

But the government is casual about these effects that tell on nation’s social cost. Currently, only guidelines for making available wholesome, nutritious, safe and hygienic food to school children have been framed by the Central Advisory Committee of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).

The minister said the National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), ICMR has not conducted a study on junk food. A study had, however, been conducted by NIN to assess ill-effects of consumption of carbonated water beverages (CWBs) on the health of adolescents and young adults, which showed higher increments of body fat in young consumers.

The best the administration has done is to educate the consumers about the food safety through advertisements in media, campaigns launched by the FSSAI on social media, documentary films on YouTube, educational booklets, information on FSSAI website, stalls at fairs/melas/events and mass awareness campaigns.

These are hardly sufficient in the face of the food companies budget. These companies are spending millions of dollars to design foods with addictive sensations. The addictive sensations are shape, texture, chemical additives and forms that tricks brain into craving for junk food.

Last year, the US passed a law to keep children out of junk food consumption. Under the US Department of Agriculture law, schools will no longer be allowed to sell unhealthy junk food in their cafeterias, vending machines, student stores, or at bake sale fundraisers. Schools must replace these unhealthy items with a number of nutritious options, which also come with their own requirements.

Junk food generally refers to foods that contribute lots of calories but little nutritional value. The junk foods is low in satiation value (people don't tend to feel as full when they eat them) which can lead to overeating. Another problem is that junk food tends to replace other, more nutritious foods.

Most "junk food" falls into the categories of either "snack food" or "fast food." And then there are things like breakfast cereals. They seem innocent enough, but not.

Junk foods are low in fiber, high in palatability (it tastes good), it offers a high number of calories in a small volume, it's high in fat and high in sugar in liquid form.

We have neither laws nor any enforcement mechanism. There is another Maggie is waiting to happen.

Comments

 

Other News

Developed states not adding to skill sets: Study

The most economically developed states are not adequately adding to skillsets, which may result in severe shortages of skilled manpower in the coming years, according to an ASSOCHAM-Thought Arbitrage Paper.  Maharashtra

The young dalit, angry and Azad

It’s a hot May afternoon and Connaught Place is almost deserted. But KL Mahar and Anjana Mahar, a middle-aged dalit couple, are striding briskly towards Delhi’s famed protest square, near the Jantar Mantar, to get a glimpse of Chandrashekhar Azad. Popularly called Ravan, Chandrashekhar

Tedros becomes the first African to head WHO

“Call me Tedros,” the newly elected director-general (DG) of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, told a Chinese reporter at a press conference held after he was elected on May 23. “The issue is: in Ethiopia we don’t have surnames, and also my wife o

Should there be a national test for teachers?

Should there be a national test for teachers?

Government sanctions new posts to hire cyber security professionals

The government has sanctioned 111 posts of cyber security professionals for the Indian computer emergency response team (ICERT) under the ministry of electronics and information technology (MEITY), according to a ministry official, who added that the posts were sanctioned earlier this year. 

Bhutan’s pursuit of happiness, shortage of health sub-centres in UP, and role of digitisation in IGNOU

In many ways the story of Gross National Happiness in a country is the story of Bhutan and its modern history. There are two major transition points in Bhutan’s recent history, the beginning of the monarchy in 1907, and the transition to a Constitutional monarchy in 2008, and the pursuit of happine



Video

पंजाब में हाई अलर्ट

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter