Thursday, April 7, 2016

Centre planning sugar tax to fight obesity, diabetes

NEW DELHI: Junk food and sugar-sweetened beverages will soon be taxed higher and subjected to tougher advertising norms. The government plans these measures to control the growing incidence of diabetes in the country.
The health ministry and the central food safety regulator are working on a proposal to cut consumption of unhealthy food and beverages, mainly among children. For, these are known to be responsible for the burden of diabetes cases and obesity. An inter-ministerial consultation on the matter took place in February .
"There is a serious effort to control non-communicable diseases, mainly diabetes and cancer. We have a multisectoral action plan and consultations are on with different ministries," a senior health ministry official said. The ministry is compiling feedback from ministries and will refer the proposal to the finance ministry and the PMO, he added.
There is consensus among ministries and departments on the need for stringent measures to contain the rising disease burden right from childhood, the official said.
Diabetes Foundation and Centre of Nutrition and Metabolic Research estimates show the annual per capita consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages in the country rose from around 2 litres per head in 1998 to 11 litres per head in 2014.

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