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FSSAI Proposes Visual Control for Unhealthy Foods
The recent proposal of FSSAI to help create identification and awareness of unhealthy foods is a game – changer. FSSAI in India wants products with high fat, sugar,salt to be labeled with the color RED and display it prominently on front-of-the-pack.
The front-of-the-pack labels will be particularly beneficial as it draws the first attention of the buyers or consumers.
Will the red coloring coding guidelines of FSSAI prove to be effective?
FSSAI’s idea of using the red color as deterrent will be effective as many buyers are not literate enough. Even the educated people do not have the necessary awareness (or the inclination and time) to make an informed decision about a food based on its contents. India also has a diverse population speaking and writing different languages. Everyone may not be able to read English or Hindi labels but everyone can understand the significance of the color red.
The color-coding system works effectively in factories as a means of visual control and information sharing and the same can be expected in this case.
Such labeling will benefit many ignorant Indians who are suffering from health challenges like diabetes and discontinue to consume certain food which negatively affect their health. The color-coded warning will prove to be detrimental.
The move to use red color labels to identify junk food has been hailed by The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE). The Director-General of CSE Sunita Narain believes the move “will contain the incidence of obesity”.
What will the red color coding on labels indicate?
This color coding is proposed to be enforced for products whose are beyond pre-defined threshold level.
- Quantity of Salt
- Quantity of Added Sugar
- Saturated fats
- Trans fat
The manufacturer is expected to state the serving size too which is more effective along with the RDI data.
Why is the identification of junk food necessary?
A significant number of people (adults, teenagers and even children) in the country (and world over) are steadily becoming obese due to their sedentary lifestyle or excessive intake of junk food. This has led to a rise in patients suffering from Type – 2 diabetes and cardiac problems.
The government is trying to create awareness about the social impact of these diseases and the financial burden to household of the patients. It is assumed that if the consumers are made aware about the ingredient of the products and its impact in a simple and effective manner, they are more likely to respond positively. The red color coding is one of the means for promoting health awareness in India.