A global survey gauging the health factor of food and drinks sold in 12 countries around the world has brought bad news for India. The survey conducted by George Institute for Global Health ranked Indian packaged food products lowest among the various food items analysed. Consumption of packaged foods and drinks, containing added sugars, salts and trans-fats, have been blamed for a number of serious ailments like high blood sugar, high blood pressure or hypertension, obesity etc. This is why health experts warn against excessive consumption of these foods and beverages that may also contain artificial flavour-enhancers, colouring agents and preservatives. The survey's shocking results come against the backdrop of growing number of cases of obesity around the world.
The results of the survey were combined into a study report titled, "A comparison of the healthiness of packaged foods and beverages from 12 countries using the Health Star Rating nutrient profiling system, 2013-2018". The study report was published in the journal Obesity Reviews. The survey compared the healthiness of more than 400,000 foods and drinks from 12 different countries and regions around the world and from among these, those from India were found to be the most energy dense. The levels of sugar in Indian packaged foods and drinks were the second highest after Chinese and their nutritional content was found to be the lowest.
The survey found that Indian packaged edible products had 1515KJ energy per 100 grams and they contained 7.3 grams of sugar per 100 grams. Countries were ranked according to Australia's Health Star Rating system, which looked at levels of nutrients like energy, salt, sugar, saturated fats, protein, calcium and fibre. The United Kingdom came out on top in this ranking, while the products from the United States of America were ranked second. The study report concluded by saying, "The finding that packaged foods and beverages are consistently less healthy in countries such as China and India compared with higher income countries is a serious cause for concern. These data highlight the need for continuous monitoring and reporting of the healthiness of products across diverse countries."
About Sakshita KhoslaSakshita loves the finer things in life including food, books and coffee, and is motivated by self-indulgence and her love for words. When not writing, she can be found huddled in the corner of a cosy cafe with a good book, caffeine and her own thoughts for company.