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Most people support including a front-of-package warning label on food products

New Delhi: Over 91% of people are in favor of user-friendly front-of-package labeling (FOPL) on packaged food products, according to the results of an online survey.

Considered the simplest and easiest to read FOPL design, “rich in” warning labels are the ones consumers prefer because they help them make healthier food choices. Over 20,000 respondents participated in this survey which provided timely information on consumer choice.

The Food Safety Standard Authority of India (FSSAI) will soon publish the long-awaited draft regulations on food labels. In a March 3 report, Mint quoted FSSAI chief executive Arun Singhal as saying, “The FoPL will bring about transformational reform in society as it will encourage healthy eating. This will also contribute to reducing the burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in the country. »

When asked if they would feel safer if packaged food contained simple warning labels indicating levels of fat, salt and sugar above the limits prescribed by the World Health Organization (WHO ), an overwhelming 99% of respondents said yes. Additionally, over 95% of people wish food packets had warning labels that clearly indicate fat, salt and sugar levels. It can be noted that the WHO has prescribed the scientific limits of fat, sugar and salt in packaged foods to protect the health of consumers.

The FOPL is a simple but important tool that can help consumers make healthier food choices. Manish Tiwari, Director of the Institute for Governance Policies and Politics (IGPP), said: “The purpose of these clear warning labels on processed food packages is to inform consumers about the sugar content, sodium and saturated fats which can help discourage the consumption of unhealthy foods. foodstuffs.”

It’s a known fact that nutrients of concern – high sugar, sodium, added saturated fats and trans fats – can negatively impact health. Excessive consumption of foods and beverages containing high levels of these concerning nutrients not only causes obesity, but also increases the risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and premature death.

According to the Global Nutrition Report 2021, nearly 12 million premature deaths occurred in 2018 due to the risks associated with consuming an unbalanced and unhealthy diet as well as non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

India is also facing an alarming increase in non-communicable diseases, including diabetes and obesity, which overburden the country’s healthcare system. Nearly 1.5 crore Indian children suffer from childhood obesity. Moreover, according to the WHO, about 58,000 Indians die each year due to preventative NCDs.

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