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Junk Food Problems UPSC NOTE

 Shifting Diets and Health Concerns

  • Nutrition Transition: India is moving away from traditional high-fiber diets towards processed, high-calorie Western-style diets.

  • Rise of Junk Food: This coincides with increased consumption of packaged, processed foods ("junk food") low in nutrients but high in calories, fat, salt, sugar, and preservatives.

  • Health Risks: Junk food consumption is linked to a rise in lifestyle diseases like diabetes, hypertension, and obesity.

Factors Contributing to the Problem

  • Marketing: Aggressive advertising targets young people, promoting unhealthy foods as "tasty" and "affordable."

  • Industry Growth: The ultra-processed food industry in India is experiencing rapid growth.

Government Initiatives

  • Legal Basis: A Supreme Court ruling recognizes the right to health and empowers regulation of unhealthy foods.

  • Policy Initiatives: The government promotes healthy eating through campaigns like "Eat Right India" and "Fit India Movement."

  • School Regulations: The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) restricts the sale of junk food near schools.

  • Protecting Children: The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights combats misleading advertising of unhealthy products targeting children.

Gaps and Recommendations

  • Defining Junk Food: The FSSAI needs to clearly define "junk food" for better regulation.

  • Front-of-Pack Labeling: Easy-to-understand labels highlighting unhealthy ingredients are needed instead of complex nutritional tables on the back of packages.

  • Subsidies for Healthy Food: Policies promoting subsidies for fruits, vegetables, and whole foods can improve affordability and accessibility.

  • Public Awareness Campaigns: Educational campaigns targeting children and young adults can promote healthy eating habits and mindful food choices.

  • Jan Andolan (People's Movement): Encouraging public demand for healthy food options is crucial for long-term change.

  • Overall, a multi-pronged approach is needed to address India's growing junk food problem. 

  • This includes clearer regulations, improved consumer awareness, promoting healthy food choices, and creating a public movement for better nutrition.


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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Junk Food Problems UPSC NOTE
Junk Food Problems UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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