Junk foods becoming major health issue

STAFF REPORTER
IMPHAL, 15th Oct: Despite the health risks posed due to regular consumption of junk foods, popularity of such types of foods has been unrelenting thereby making it a major issue in the healthcare sector.
According to Consumer Education and Research Centre (CERC) report, consuming junk foods by pregnant or lactating women is associated with high possibility of affecting their children with health complications like obesity, high blood cholesterol and diabetes. Moreover, such children become avid lover of junk foods and foods containing high fats or sugar.
Most of the ready to serve foods available in the market including small shops in localities are categorised as junk foods due to their high contents of fat including trans fat, sodium, sugar and calorie. Besides, artificial food colouring materials are commonly used in the manufacture of such foods and misleading advertisements are made to attract customers. At the same time, artificial preservatives are widely used in such foods to achieve extended shelf life.
As per CERC report; noodles, which is one of the most favourite packaged foods, contains high salt and sodium. Each 100 grams of noodles contain 30 mg of sodium while the 100 grams of Atta noodles contain 1031mg of sodium. Atta noodles contain only 5.30 grams of fibres against the claim of 9.8 grams.
Even though these products claim to have abundant vegetable products, each packet contains only about one or two pieces of peas, broad beans and a couple of carrot slices.
Considering the health risks and misleading information given in advertisements, some countries had initiated measures to ban such misleading advertisements and to levy fat tax to discourage food production with high fat contents.
Test or flavour enhancer substances are allowed to use in packaged food products like Mimi, chow chow, noodles, potato chips and corn puffs.
These products do not contain much nutritional value but have high contents of fat, salt, sugar and calories, which affect the health of those who consume them. As such, several health conscious people are expressing the need to put restrictions on misleading advertisements in mass media.


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