EATABLES HIGH IN FAT, SALT, SUGAR SET TO GET ‘JUNK FOOD’ LABEL SOON
NEW DELHI: A packet of popular branded potato chips might soon havea“junkfood”labelonitasthe country’s food regulator wants to make a clear distinction between healthy and unhealthy foods.
TheFoodsSafetyandStandards Authorityof India’s(FSSAI) move reflects a growing concern over junkfood—agreyareainIndiaas the country doesn’t have clear-cut guidelines on food and beverages considered unhealthy.
“We are trying to define junk food based on proportion of salt, sugar and fat content… The calculations are based on the Indian diet chart and recommended diet as well as international standards,” said Pawan Kumar Agarwal, CEO of the Foods Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
The regulator is preparing guidelines to put caps on fat, salt and sugar content in packaged food. Themanufacturerswillhave to put the junk food label on packets of any product that contains more than the prescribed limit of these ingredients.
These suggestions were made by a panel that the regulator had formed to prepare guidelines for a healthy diet for Indians, including a definition on junk food.
Thetermjunkfoodhasnotbeen defined under the Food Safety and StandardAct.TheFSSAIwillsoon notify a regulation.
Indiawillbeamongahandfulof countriestolabelpackagedfoodas junk. A final decision is pending.