Research council: Labels don’t inform Indians of what they are eating

By RJ Whitehead

- Last updated on GMT

Photo: iStock
Photo: iStock

Related tags: Hypertension

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has called for stricter regulations to be applied to the labelling of packaged food in a bid to prevent non-communicable diseases that account for a quarter of premature deaths in the country.

The ICMR’s director general said better labelling to reduce sugar and salt intake would help prevent conditions like diabetes, heart disease, stroke, hypertension and obesity. 

This could help a lot because people don't know what they are eating​,” said Soumya Swaminathan. 

According to Dr Swaminathan, India’s average per-capita intake of salt is 20g, whereas only 5g is required under World Health Organisation guidelines. 

These are policy matters and government is working on them​,” she added.

Meanwhile, a diabetes study by the ICMR of 17 states suggests that 10-15% of Indians are diabetic and an equal number pre-diabetic. 

The top-most risk factor today is high blood pressure, diabetes and both indoor and outdoor air-pollution​," said Dr Swaminathan.

Related topics: Formulation, Food safety, East Asia, China

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