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No 'junk food' ads on kids shows & channels, recommends govt's food safety panel

MUMBAI: The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has put together a report on junk food and suggested a blanket ban on the telecast of such advertisements on kids’ channels.

The report also recommended discouraging celebrities from endorsing food that is high in HFSS (salt, fat, and sugar) and imposing an extra tax on sweetened beverages and processed foods.

Apart from sweetened beverages, the junk food category included pizzas, chips, burgers and several Indian foods such as pakoras and samosas, FNB News reported. It had been observed that ads for a majority of HFSS food were aired during kids’  shows and mostly on kids channels.

Experts flayed the practice of sale of such food by impressing upon young minds, stating that such TVCs influenced the eating habits of the young and made them vulnerable to diseases. Besides, the extra tax on sweetened beverages and processed commodities was recommended as could be seen as a practical approach to cut down their intake.  

The report also recommended proper and positive nutritional labelling of such products.

Health Foods and Dietary Supplements Association (HADSA) admits that there was no specific definition stated in any of the regulations for "junk food" in India. It only referred to such food which has no nutritional or health benefit, and a high amount of calories.

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