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World’s largest Food Company NESTLE admits 60% of its food products are not healthy

World’s largest Food Company NESTLE admits 60% of its food products are not healthy

Relevance:

  • GS 2 || Governance & Social Justice || Human Development || Health

Why in the news?

Nestle accepts 60% of its product ‘Unhealthy

Present context:

  • Nestle, the world’s largest packaged food and beverages company, has been facing criticism after an internal presentation indicated that a majority of its mainstream food and drinks portfolio is unhealthy.
  • The company is now in damage control mode and said that it will work on updating its nutrition and health strategy.

Adverse effect of processed food /junk food?

What is a Junk Food?

  • An empty calorie food is a high calorie or calorie rich diet that is deficient in micronutrients such as vitamins, minerals, or amino acids, as well as fiber, yet is high in energy (calories).
  • These foods lack the nutrients your body need to be healthy.

Appealing nature of junk food:

  • Time factor: Junk food addiction is quite common due to its ease of usage. They are simple to make and ready to eat in no time.
  • Flavor element: A good taste is another essential aspect that motivates people to eat junk food. This flavor is obtained by using a lot of oils, salts, and/or sugar.
  • Attractiveness: Food additives and colors, as well as flavor improvement, are added to the packaging of such items, giving them a very appealing appearance.
  • The advertising factor: Advertising has a significant role in drawing the general public, particularly children and teenagers, to junk food vending establishments..

Health effects of Junk Food:

  • Obesity: Obesity is one of the most prevalent negative effects of eating junk food. Its high sugar content, calories, and fat content lead to weight gain. Obesity can cause a variety of medical problems, including diabetes, joint discomfort, and heart disease. According to a July 2017 survey, India has the second highest number of obese children among 195 nations, at 14.4 million.
  • Impact on food digestion and consumption: Eating too much junk food puts the brain in a bind. Excess sugar consumption can cause blood sugar levels to fluctuate, prompting the brain to crave more food, resulting in overeating and indigestion.
  • Depression: Junk foods are heavy in sugar and fat, which can create chemical responses in the brain that impair its function. The body loses important minerals and amino acids when it consumes too much of it. These signs eventually lead to the brain’s incapacity to cope with stress, which can lead to depression.
  • Cancer: Carcinogens have been discovered in several junk foods, which can cause cancer.
  • Inadequate Growth & Development: Junk food consumption causes a lack in vital nutrients and vitamins needed for optimal bodily growth and development. Too much drink and sugar can lead to tooth damage and bone thinning.

Case study- Nestle product Maggie controversy:

  • Nestle India has been sued in Uttar Pradesh’s Barabanki court for failing to meet the safety criteria for its Maggi food.
  • The Uttar Pradesh Food Safety and Drug Administration (UP FDA) had previously directed Nestle India to remove a batch of Maggi noodles from the market after finding excessive levels of lead and Monosodium glutamate (MSG), a flavor enhancer, in it.
  • During normal UP FDA testing, it was discovered that packets of instant noodles from the 2014 batch had a high lead concentration of 17.2 parts per million (ppm), approximately seven times the allowable range of 0.01 ppm to 2.5 ppm.
  • Monosodium glutamate is an amino acid of the glutamate family. Many agricultural goods contain it naturally. Packed food contains monosodium glutamate, which is artificially added.
  • Health impact: Large doses of MSG can cause headaches and other feelings of discomfort collectively known as Chinese restaurant syndrome.

Laws for Junk Food Regulation:

  • Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954: This act is to prevents adulteration food products
  • Food Safety and Standards (“FSS”) Act, 2006: It is the principal piece of legislation governing the regulation of food goods. This legislation also establishes the framework for developing and enforcing food safety regulations in India.
  • Fruit Products Order, 1955: The Fruit Products Order 1955 was published under Section 3 of the Essential Commodities Act – 1955, with the goal of manufacturing fruit and vegetable products while adhering to the Order’s sanitary and hygienic conditions and quality criteria.
  • Meat Food Products Order, 1973:It establishes hygienic and other criteria for meat food items, as well as limitations on heavy metals, preservatives, pesticides, residue, and other factors.
  • Vegetable Oil Products (Control) Order, 1947: It regulated the manufacture, distribution, and sale of Vegetable Oil Products
  • Edible Oils Packaging (Regulation) Order 1988: It was enacted under the Essential Commodities Act of 1955 in order to make the packaging of edible oils at set prices, sold in retail, mandatory, with the provision that the involved state government might exclude it.

FSSAI Draft on Junk Food

  • Ban on junk food sales in schools: As part of its goal to provide safe and healthful meals for children, the draft rule recommends a ban on junk food sales and advertisements in school canteens and within 50 meters of school grounds.
  • Registration or license: The school authority itself or food business operators (FBOs) contracted by it and FBOs contracted by Department of School Education for the operation of the mid-day meal scheme will have to “obtain a registration or license” as applicable and comply with the requirements of sanitary and hygienic practices specified under the food safety law.
  • Promoting ban: Food business operators (FBOs) that manufacture HFSS food items would be prohibited from advertising their goods on school grounds or within 50 meters of the school campus.
  • Eat Right at School: According to the FSSAI, school districts will be required to implement a comprehensive program to promote safe food and healthy diets among students. As per the established criteria, the school campus should be turned into a ‘Eat Right School,’ emphasizing on safe and healthy meals, local and seasonal food, and no food waste.
  • Promotion of a healthy, balanced diet: Encourage school officials to promote a healthy, balanced diet in the classroom, as recommended by the National Institute of Nutrition’s standards (NIN).
  • Experts: Nutritionists and dietitians must be enlisted by the school administration on a regular basis to assist in the creation of the children’s food.
  • Frequent inspection: It also calls for regular inspections of the facilities to ensure that pupils are fed safe, healthy, and sanitary meals.
  • A State Level Advisory Committee sub-committee: The FSSAI proposes the formation of a State Level Advisory Committee sub-committee to oversee the implementation of these laws and guarantee the supply of safe and wholesome food to schoolchildren.
  • Vendor Prohibition: At athletic events, food makers and vendors are prohibited from giving away free samples of low-nutrition food to youngsters. The use of such businesses’ logos on vending machines, books, school supplies, textbook covers, and school property such as scoreboards and signage is likewise prohibited.
  • Food business operators: It also states that food company operators will no longer sponsor activities at schools, a move aimed at reducing instances of food business operators placing their trademarks on banners at field meets or as wallpaper on school computers and in school canteens.
  • The school cafeteria and daycare centers’ menus are as follows: Milk, eggs, poultry, paneer, fish, low-fat or toned milk, and fortified cereals are listed in Schedule I of the rule. It advises against eating white bread, canned soups, and wraps.

How will it impact India?

  • According to analysts, given that Nestle’s India portfolio is quite different from its parent company, the development will not have much of an impact here.
  • “Given that Nestle has not positioned its products such as Maggi in the health category there is no change in the perception towards its brand with the recent development.
  • Out of Nestle’s 35 billionaire brands, only nine have a presence in India.
  • Its brands such as DiGiorno croissant crust pizza, Hot Pockets pepperoni pizza, San Pellegrino drink, and Nesquik with the worst scores, as mentioned in the Financial Times report, are not present in India.
  • Besides this, Nestle India has a higher share of milk and value-added milk products in its sales mix, which bodes well for the company.
  • The Indian market was ranked at number 11 in terms of contribution to Nestle’s global revenue in 2020.

Conclusion:

As a result of globalization, junk foods have sliced up the Third World. It is an inextricable element of life in both the developed and developing worlds, and it has resulted in a tremendous rise in obesity and related disorders. Moderation, occasional intake, and preferably modest quantities are the keys to consuming these junk foods. It is not hard to defeat junk meals in a battle with nutritious meals. However, one must be cautious since tempt is so powerful that it might lead to addiction. It’s important to realize that junk addiction is good for business.

Mains oriented question:

What are the adverse effect of junk or proceed food on health? What are the law against junk food? (200 words)