Packaged foods and beverages least healthy in India, China: Oxford study
A recent Oxford study has considered packaged food, drinks least healthy in India followed by nations such as China, Chile. High sugar content, fats alongside salt levels have given India the last spot at the global health list.
The George Institute for Global Health analyzed around 4 lakh food and drink products from 12 countries and territories worldwide. United Kingdom topped the list of countries with healthier packaged food and beverages followed by nations like the US and Australia.
The nations were judged on the basis of Australia’s Health Star Rating system, where the level of different nutrients such as energy, salt, sugar along with protein, calcium are considered as parameters- 1/2 being least healthy and 5 the healthiest. UK received the highest rating of 2.83, followed by the US (2.82).
Study exhibits China’s packaged foods and beverages to contain the most harmful level of saturated fats. Along with this China also scored worst for average sugar levels at 8.5 grams per 100 grams. In this category, India was ranked 2nd at 7.3 grams per 100 grams.
This study comes at the light of people already exposed to unhealthy food on a daily basis. “The obesity crisis is just the first ripple of a tsunami of dietary ill health that is coming for us,” as per Bruce Neal, the study’s co-author.
Neal was seen showing concern for growing health issues and advocated for a healthy food industry, as selling rational and quality food, while compared with unhealthy junk can prevent the recent human health risks.
The study however also noted the positive aspects of the existing food and drink manufacturers, considering they have signed up for the International Food and Beverage Alliance, a move to reduce salt and sugar levels and harmful fats.
This survey and research can provide an impetus for the industries to be extra careful and move towards improving the healthiness of their product ranges.