Fat-check: Does Delhi need to go the Ker­ala way?

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Front Page - Snigdha Ahuja snigdha.ahuja@hin­dus­tan­times.com

Junk food lovers in Ker­ala might have to spend more to en­joy their favourite burg­ers and piz­zas when eat­ing out. The state has pro­posed slap­ping 14.5% ‘fat tax’ on restau­rants that sell fast food. While coun­tries such as Den­mark im­posed a sim­i­lar tax and failed, France and Hun­gary also ex­per­i­mented with the idea. How fea­si­ble will be the fat tax for the Cap­i­tal, where 76% of the pop­u­la­tion is ei­ther over­weight or obese? For health ex­perts, the move would make sense. “Des­per­ate times call for des­per­ate mea­sures. With young­sters eat­ing out al­most every day, such a step will help them make a wise choice. The tax must be backed by an aware­ness drive,” says nu­tri­tion­ist Kavita Devgan. How­ever, those in the food busi­ness deem it im­prac­ti­cal. For restau­ra­teur Priyank Sukhija, such a tax “in­fringes on free­dom”. “If health is the prime con­cern, why not make all gyms tax free? Or make the an­nual Yoga day a monthly af­fair? There’s so much that could be done to pro­mote health rather than en­croach­ing a per­son’s free­dom of choice. Also, what about junk food sold on the streets?” he asks. Chefs agree, as they be­lieve Del­hi­ites are smart to choose what they want. “Rather than putting a tab on junk food, let’s take steps that will help counter an un­healthy life,” says chef Nis­hant Choubey.

Some also be­lieve that the prob­lem lies with the dis­torted cat­e­gori­sa­tion of ‘junk’. “Why leave out In­dian food? Shouldn’t paran­thas and but­ter chicken come un­der the scan­ner too?” asks Samira Cho­pra who heads a fast-food chain in the Cap­i­tal.

With young­sters eat­ing out daily, such a step will help them make a wise choice KAVITA DEVGAN, NU­TRI­TION­IST Why are paran­thas, but­ter chicken and dal makhani not un­der the scan­ner? SAMIRA CHO­PRA, RESTAU­RA­TEUR


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