No more junk food in Kerala from today

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It seems the world has come crashing for those who survive only on junk food! With the Kerala government introducing a ‘fat tax’ on consumption of pizzas and burgers and other junk food sold through restaurants, this piece of news is bound to mean the end of the world for many.

And for those who are till now reassured about the fact that it has happened only in Kerala, think again! This might well be the reality all over India very soon.

With 14.5 per cent of the first state budget of Kerala’s newly elected LDF government, the proposal also incorporates branded restaurants selling items like tacos, pizzas, burgers, sandwiches, among others.

It is of course a growing problem in India as most children have either inculcated this odd habit of eating junk foods from their friends, neighbours, classmates or even for that matter their parents in some cases. Childhood obesity has genuinely become a growing menace and as rightly described by the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) commission earlier this year, it has become an “an exploding nightmare.”

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According to a report, the commission on childhood obesity found that almost 41 million under-fives were overweight or obese. Many children are growing up in environments encouraging weight gain and obesity. The statistics mean that 6.1 per cent of under-fives were overweight or obese in 2014, compared with 4.8 per cent in 1990.The number of overweight children in lower middle-income countries like India more than doubled over the same period, from 7.5 million to 15.5 million. And alarming as it may look, nearly 48 per cent of all overweight and obese children aged under-five live in Asia.

Fanning a raging debate then as to whether the ‘fat tax’ would actually help us curb this thriving peril, it leads us to analyse a series of issues that have long broken the confines of serious introspection.

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We say, ‘fat tax’ could perhaps be revolutionary in the eating habits of children who are overtly exposed to the danger of obesity, leading them to suffer from stroke, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, several types of cancer and osteoarthritis.

In order to protect your family and its health, it is imperative to follow the directive and not take it as a forceful imposition from the government’s end. After all, we all enjoy freedom and love ourselves. And to enjoy, what better way than staying healthy!

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