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FSSAI asks companies to cut salt, sugar, fat in packed food

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NEW DELHI: The attempt is to arrest the increasing footprint of lifestyle diseases.

To promote safe and healthy food, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has asked all packaged food companies to voluntarily reformulate their products to reduce salt, sugar and fat levels before new labeling regulations are implemented.

The regulator has launched a multi-sector initiative called the Eat Right Movement to improve public health and combat lifestyle diseases.

Many food companies, including Nestle India, HUL and Patanjali, took a pledge to reduce the level of salt, sugar and fat in food products.

Pawan Kumar Agarwal, CEO, FSSAI, said, “It will take at least a year to implement the new labeling regulations. It is with the Health Ministry now.”

He said, “It is an opportune time for packaged food makers to voluntarily reformulate their products to reduce salt, sugar and fat levels in their products.”

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Balram Bhargav, DG, ICMR said that non-communicable diseases are rampant in India and FSSAI's movement, along with ‘Thoda Kam’ gesture, is a brilliant idea to drive home the message. He urged mobilizing street food vendors through this movement as well.

Professor Vijaya Raghavan, India’s  Principal Scientific Advisor, pointed out that we need to complement reduction of salt, sugar and fat with lifestyle changes such as eating a more plant-based, natural diet, which celebrity chefs can demonstrate in practice.

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