Front of Pack Labelling, Food Labelling

Front of Pack Labelling, Food Labelling

Front-of-Pack Labelling

FOPL

Front-of-Pack Labelling (FOPL) refers to the nutrition labeling systems present on the front side of the food packages. FOPLs are based on nutrient profiling models. These profiling These profiling models either consider the overall nutrition quality of the product or/the nutrients of concern associated with non-communicable diseases like diabetes, hypertension, heart diseases, etc. FOPLs often focus on presenting the nutrition information thoroughly and comprehensively.

Objective of FOPL

The objective of the FOPL policy is to inform consumers in a simple and fast way about the content of sugar, sodium and saturated fat & Trans fats to discourage the purchase of unhealthy packaged food. .

WORLD HEALTH DAY

Why is there a need to regulate consumption of HFSS (High in Fat, Salt and Sugar) Foods?

Nearly 5.8 million people or 1 in 4 Indians are at a risk of dying from an NCD before they reach the age of 70. Disease burden of NCDs increased from 30% ‘disability-adjusted life years’ (DALYs) in 1990 to 55% in 2016, with deaths due to these conditions increasing from 37% in 1990 to 61% in 2016. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) accounts for at least 27% of NCD deaths. Untreated and uncontrolled hypertension contributes to an estimated 1.6 million deaths annually in India – 57% of these deaths related to stroke and 24% related to coronary heart disease. India is also fast becoming a diabetes and cancer hotspot.

This crisis is being further aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic, as persons living with NCDs face a greater risk of becoming severely ill or dying from COVID-19. All of these conditions such as high blood pressure, high fasting blood sugar levels and obesity are closely linked to unhealthy diets, and an excessive intake of sugars, total fats, saturated fats, trans fats and sodium. In turn, the excessive intake of these “nutrients of public health concern”, is largely driven by the widespread availability, affordability and promotion of processed and ultra-processed food products with unhealthy nutritional profiles. Reports indicate that the COVID-19 pandemic generated a unique opportunity for the food and beverage industry to thrive in low- to middle-income countries and expand their market of unhealthy, ultra-processed foods and sugary drinks.

Dr Chandrakant Pandav, President, Indian Coalition for the Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders (ICCIDD), warns that there is no time is to be lost. “It is clear as day that our food environment needs to change drastically if we are to reverse the health crisis and safe guard our future generations. Even as we move to fortify our food, it is equally critical to equip people with information regarding harmful nutrients  in their food products including ie, high concentration of salt, sugar and fats, is an equally important strategy.”

With Front of Pack labelling, consumers can understand whether a food is specifically high in a nutrient, for example, protein or fiber, and compare it to other products as well.

 

Why FOPL

Research evidence suggests that FOPL makes nutrition information more accessible to consumers. Using the FOPL, consumers can make informed and healthy food choices. They can pick food items that are low in saturated and trans fats, sugar, and sodium.  A strong front-of-package label is one of the most efficient tools of influencing consumer behaviour to alter dietary choices and reduce their vulnerability to NCDs. According to Dr Barry Popkin, the W. R. Kenan Junior distinguished professor of nutrition at the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health sharing his experience from leading research on impact of FOPL  in multiple countries said, “In our ongoing evaluations we have found that all countries which have adopted warning label system of FOPL that are easy to interpret, have succeeded in reducing consumption of the most unhealthy ultra-processed foods and beverages. As suggested by available evidence, this is one of the most effective approaches to preventing obesity and nutrition-related NCDs like diabetes and hypertension. People need to understand clearly and simply what is in the food that they are buying. Food labels have to interpret the nutrition information for consumers across age, income and literacy levels.”

 

Types of FOPL

Why are interpretive FOPL systems much more effective


WHO Guiding principles and framework manual for front-of-pack labeling for promoting healthy diets:  
“Briefly, interpretive FOPL systems that use interpretational aids and minimize numerical information are most useful for aiding consumer comprehension of FOPL information”

Report from the WHO Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity: Recommendation 1.7: Implement interpretive front of-pack labeling supported by public education of both adults and children for nutrition literacy”

The UN Special Raporteur on the right to health: “Front-of-package warning labeling is a key measure for countries to tackle the burden of NCDs”.

 

 

India’s stand on FOPL

In 2018 the Food Safety Standards Authority India (FSSAI) published draft regulation for FOPL which was subsequently withdrawn for further deliberation. In 2020 December, FSSAI restarted the process of developing FOPL and has been in consultation with civil society, industry and nutrition experts for a viable model for India.

Proposed study on FOPL in India for Consumer perception

Objective of the Study:

  • To compare the  warning label, nutri-score labels, multiple traffic lights and GDA labels to no label in randomised control trial design in India.
  • Preliminary formative research will first be undertaken to identify the best warning label for inclusion in the RCT

 Primary outcomes: 

  • Lower intentions of purchasing a product high in salt, sugar or saturated  or trans fat
  • Perceived message effectiveness (extent to which the label makes participants worried about the health consequences of the product; makes the product unpleasant; discourages them from wanting to consume the product)

Role of Consumer VOICE

Consumer VOICE is playing an active role in advocating front of pack labelling in packaged foods to inform consumers on foods that are rich in fat, salt and sugar content and thereby regulating consumption of such foods.  Consumer VOICE has represented consumer organisations in several meetings conducted by the regulatory body FSSAI for the same. It has also sensitised consumers through articles by experts both on the print and social media platforms.

Outlook India - Strong Front Of Package Labelling Must To Stem The Scourge Of Non Communicable Diseases


Poshan Outlook India - Strong Front Of Package Labelling Must To Stem The Scourge Of Non Communicable Diseases


News18 - कारगर FOPL से भारत में रोके जा सकते हैं नॉन कम्‍युनिकेबल रोग, 58 लाख लोगों में होता है मौत का खतरा


Dainik Bhaskar - कारगर FOPL से भारत में रोके जा सकते हैं नॉन कम्‍युनिकेबल रोग, 58 लाख लोगों में होता है मौत का खतरा


Blog Spote - कारगर FOPL से भारत में रोके जा सकते हैं नॉन कम्‍युनिकेबल रोग, 58 लाख लोगों में होता है मौत का खतरा


TEZ Live News - कारगर FOPL से भारत में रोके जा सकते हैं नॉन कम्‍युनिकेबल रोग, 58 लाख लोगों में होता है मौत का खतरा


The Foodie Time - Non communicable diseases can be prevented in India with effective FOPL, 5.8 million people are at risk of death


A T Z News - Non communicable diseases can be prevented in India with effective FOPL, 5.8 million people are at risk of death


News King 24 - कारगर FOPL से भारत में रोके जा सकते हैं नॉन कम्‍युनिकेबल रोग, 58 लाख लोगों में होता है मौत का खतरा


Hindi News live - कारगर FOPL से भारत में रोके जा सकते हैं नॉन कम्‍युनिकेबल रोग: विशेषज्ञ


Web Dunia - Food package labels warning on sugar, trans-fats may help fight obesity, diabetes


UNI India - Food package labels warning on sugar, trans-fats may help fight obesity, diabetes


Financial News - Food package labels warning on sugar, trans-fats may help fight obesity, diabetes


The India Saga - Experts call for labelling of processed food to check disease burden


MSN - कारगर FOPL से भारत में रोके जा सकते हैं नॉन कम्‍युनिकेबल रोग: विशेषज्ञ
Digital Literacy Initiative

Digital Literacy Initiative

Digital Literacy Initiative

OVERVIEW

The Anne Fransen Fund (AFF) of Consumers International was founded in 1988 following the death of Anne Fransen, the first director of Consumers International member organisation, Consumentenbond in 1981. The main aim of the fund is to promote and support the growth of consumer organizations in developing countries.

Consumer Voice was one of the seven Consumers International members that promoted the protection of consumers around the globe through the funding provided by the AFF2017.

Consumer VOICE trained a group of consumer activists on digital economy who will then carry the mission forward.

CAMPAIGN FOCUS

The overall objective of Digital Literacy Initiative is to empower the vulnerable consumer group on digital issues so that they may effectively explore the opportunities provided by digitally empowered knowledge economy. ‘Be safe yet be digitally empowered’, is the message that is given through the project. Some of the important goals of Digital Literacy Initiative include:

  1. To create a cadre and network of trained digital consumer activists
  2. To empower vulnerable consumer groups by imparting digital literacy
  3. To help consumers address their digital complaints
  4. Empower the trained group to reach out to others where constant help and updating from the project will be of assistance.
  5. Target a cross section of the community in a limited pilot phase and then tie up with a large corporate like Google / Microsoft / to take the initiative forward.

CHALLENGES

  • Empowering the vulnerable section who have very limited knowledge of computers, with digital tools was a challenge
  • Designing ToT modules for maximum reach across all sections

OUR STRATEGY

For the pilot project we chose National Capital Territory of Delhi which includes New Delhi and urban areas surrounding it in neighbouring states of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan as it is one of India’s world’s largest agglomerations, with a population of around 5 crore.  We chose the project area due to factors like the largest number of targeted consumers, lack of digital literacy, and high rate of cyber crimes. Apart from this due to our presence and strengths in NCT, there are more chances of creating maximum impact in given budget and time.

The following steps were taken to implement the project:

A WELL TRAINED GROUP OF INDIVIDUALS WERE CREATED THROUGH A TRAINING OF TRAINER (TOT) MODEL

A single day ToT workshop for consumer activists (30 in all) were trained on digital issues where intensive training on issues related to handling of digital devices and safe internet usage were imparted.

DEVELOPED AND DESIGNED TRAINING MODULES FOR TOT & DIGITAL LITERACY CAMPS CONSUMER

Consumer VOICE created digital literacy awareness material and dedicated pages on social media platform to maximize reach and ensure engagement of all stakeholders.

ORGANISED DIGITAL LITERACY CAMPS ACROSS DELHI NCR FOR WIDER REACH

Consumer Voice organised six Digital Literacy camps across NCR with different categories of vulnerable consumer groups such as youngsters, women, and elderly. The purpose of these camps is to make them digitally literate to boost their confidence to join the digital economy and society.

ASSISTED CONSUMERS REGISTER THEIR COMPLAINTS RELATED TO DIGITAL ISSUES

Consumer Voice helped consumers in redressal of their complaints related to digital issues. This was a continuous activity and continued even after the project duration.

Consumer VOICE implemented this project with the help of local partners for on-field activities. Government and regulatory agencies were involved to advocate for better policy decisions and strict enforcement and monitoring mechanism.

IMPACT

  • Empowered vulnerable consumers to effectively engage digitally in their daily activities
  • Formed a team of digital activists through the ToT model to carry the project forward

CAMPAIGN UPDATES

Digital Literacy

Digital Literacy India is one of the fastest growing economies of the world. Digital literacy is almost non-existent in a country where 25-30% of the population are illiterate. While India boasts being the world’s second fastest growing mobile market, it is lagging...

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World Consumer Rights Day Workshop on e-waste

World Consumer Rights Day Workshop on e-waste

World Consumer Rights Day Workshop on e-waste

Consumer Voice, a New Delhi based non-profit organization that works to spread consumer awareness organised a workshop on Electronic Waste or e-waste in its office on 13th March 2019. This workshop was part of World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD) which is celebrated on 15th March every year. The theme of WCRD 2020 was ‘Sustainable Consumer’. Like a trustworthy whistle-blower on the matter related to consumer education and awareness, the focus of the workshop was on educating consumers on responsible e-waste disposal.

Ashim Sanyal, COO at Consumer VOICE introduced the subject to the gathering and shared his views on the same. Satish Sinha, Associate Director at Toxics Link addressed the gathering of professionals from diverse backgrounds.

Mr Sinha spoke on the lack of responsible e-waste disposal in our country and the right to repair our electronic gadgets among others. He said India is unlike the other countries where consumers enjoy the #righttorepair. A consumer in those countries can go to the manufacturers and ask for a certain product to get repaired. In India, he cited the example of the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) industry in particular due to whom the consumer after using a car or certain electronic product for certain years, can’t repair such products when the need appears. In most of the cases, the manufacturer shows the non-availability of spare parts. In such a scenario, the consumer facing such a situation compels to buy a new product instead of getting the product repaired. One can very well understand how this results in the accumulation of e-waste.

Likewise, mobile manufacturing companies are also responsible for not encouraging consumers on using repaired products, rather they encourage consumers to buy new products.

Sinha also spoke about how the CFL light manufacturing industry was using mercury in the CFL lights in India. Sinha cited the examples of several developed countries where they have a stringent regulation of using only 5 ml mercury per CFL light. Here in India, the mercury usage was much higher at around 15-20 liter per CFL. However, the scenario is much better now with adequate intervention.

Elaborating the need for sustainable consumption Sinha said, “As a responsible consumer we all have to contribute towards responsible disposal of e-waste and demand for the rights which are not in existence particularly in India such as the right to repair. He also stressed the need for regulation to tackle the problem of e-waste disposal thus contributing towards a sustainable future.”

The session worked as an eye-opener to professionals who were unaware of the sensitivity of the issue. And the discussion ended with people making pledges to be sustainable consumers and also to reduce e-waste from their lives.

Impact of Quality of Internet Services on Internet Users

Impact of Quality of Internet Services on Internet Users

Impact of Quality of Internet Services on Internet Users

QOIS

OVERVIEW

In the era being described as “Digital India”, it is important to increase the internet penetration but it is also important to improve the quality of internet services to be able to realize the goal of “Digital India”. Having taken the first step of getting connected, quality of services cannot be ignored and is the necessary second step that needs to be taken.

VOICE initiated a study on ‘Assessment of Impact of Quality of Internet Services on Internet Users’, in September 2016, supported by Ford Foundation, which was based on a sample of 52,000 across 19 states of India. The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of quality of internet services delivered to its consumers. It found several shortcomings/impediments which require attention for further enhancing quality of internet.

OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

Assessment Of Impact of Quality of  Internet Service is a national study under taken by Consumer VOICE to assess the:

  • Current status of Quality of Internet Service in India
  • Patterns of current usage of Internet
  • Interpret the effect of Quality on Usage of Internet
  • Impact of Internet usage on various aspects of life

FINDINGS OF THE STUDY

The report subsumes 3 volumes:

  • Volume 1: Concept Scope and Dimensions  Read More
  • Volume 2: Assessment of Quality of Internet Service    Read More
  • Volume 3: Impact of Quality of Internet Service on Various Aspects of Life  Read More

NEEDQOIS CAMPAIGN

‘NeedQoIS’ is an initiative taken by VOICE in the interest of internet users (consumers) to educate and enlighten them about Quality of Internet Service (QoIS) and engaging consumers in the fight for better internet service nationwide to make it a truly Digital India. (For more details, please visit https://www.facebook.com/NeedQoIS/)

STUDY HIGHLIGHTS

The study, besides seeking perceptions on various parameters of quality of internet, sought perceptions on the impact of internet on various aspects of life, which include daily lives, development of rural areas, education and research, business and jobs, health and medical services, political and civic participation, shopping, travelling and commuting, women empowerment and empowerment of people with special needs, and e-governance. It was found that each of these aspects is significantly impacted by internet.

The measurement of wireless internet speeds in this study was also undertaken. The average 3G speeds were only 1.5 mbps while average 4G speeds were only 4.10 mbps. These are among the lowest in the world. By definition, 4G speeds are 40 to 150 mbps and Indian telecom companies, claiming use of 4G technology are delivering 3G speeds to their customers.

Based on the study, following recommendations were made to TRAI –

  • For better quality of speed a Mandatory disclosure of min avg download speed be made, which must be met at least 95% of the times.
  • ISPs to include a speed measurement tool in their apps and maintain a record of average speed during the day, week and month.
  • ISPs to disclose minimum and maximum speeds on daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly basis. Compensate consumers for failing to adhere to average download speeds and down time. TRAI should create a mechanism for compensation for quantifiable losses below the benchmark.
  • Declare minimum speeds at the time of sale of plans.
  • TRAI’s MySpeed App should be made more robust and user-friendly. It should be able to provide speed comparisons for each BTS and also show comparisons of ISPs at given BTS.
  • Each ISP app must have a complaint feature with follow up of outcome of complaints.
  • TRAI should find a way so that consumer using internet can come to know the reduction in speed or loss of signal at a particular point of time. At present the phones show E or 3G or 4G signal when there is in fact no signal. When signal is lost there should be a way to inform the consumer about loss of speed or signal by an adequate label mechanism.
  • TRAI should be able to provide speed comparisons for each BTS and also show comparisons of ISPs at given BTS.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

CAMPAIGN UPDATES

WORKSHOP HELD IN BANGALORE:

NEED FOR BETTER QUALITY OF INTERNET SERVICES TO MAKE INDIA TRULY DIGITAL”

Consumer VOICE celebrated World Consumer Rights Day (#BetterDigitalWorld) at Bangalore by organizing a workshop in collaboration with the The Chair on Consumer Law and Practice, National Law School of India University. Prof. (Dr.) R. Venkata Rao, Vice Chancellor, NLSIU was the Chief Guest. Prof Sriram Khanna, Consumer VOICE and Prof.(Dr.) Ashok R. Patil, NLSIU were the expert speakers who discussed and explained the findings of this national study.  Read More 

CONSUMER VOICE CONVERSATION SERIES

DIGITAL INDIA IN LIGHT OF SUB-STANDARD INTERNET SERVICES

Consumer VOICE Conversation Series held 18 Dec’17 aimed at enlightening consumers about the quality of internet services and also to awaken the concerned authorities to take the appropriate action to improve the quality of internet service in India under the initiative – NeedQoIS. The event also had officials from TRAI (Telecom regulatory Authority India) to present their point of view and answer the questions and issues raised by the audience. 

INDIA: HIGHEST GDP GROWTH RATE AND LOWEST INTERNET SPEEDS

Indian consumers are consistently battling with low internet speeds while dreaming of a new and better ‘Digital India’. It is disappointing to see that a country making its mark on the world map for its excellent GDP growth is worse than Pakistan and Algeria when it come to internet speeds (as found in a study by OpenSignal). Consumer VOICE conducted a study titled “Assessment of Impact of Quality of Service on Internet Users” in the last quarter of 2017 and found that the average 4G speeds delivered to consumers is a mere 4.10 mbps. The speed tests were conducted on TRAI MySpeed app on which TRAI has recently released a white paper elaborating on the methodology behind working of the app. The paper only focuses upon the technicalities of the app but does not focus on getting faster internet speeds. Sign the petition –  http://chn.ge/2GT3Chi

ITS RAINING DATA

As soon as Reliance JIO offered its free services to consumers, the level of competition reached its peak among the Internet Service Providers. The data which was available per month at the price of Rs. 30 to 50 per GB in Indian telecom markets has come down to Rs 5 per GB in the year 2017, as data consumption has increased. It has become cheaper to watch movies and web series on Internet and Wi-Fii. However, it has been observed that after these developments, post-paid subscribers are paying more as compared to the pre-paid subscribers. Being in the field of consumer education and empowerment for over three decades now, Consumer VOICE requests TRAI to take prompt action on the same so that there is no discrimination between the pre-paid and post-paid consumers and they are benefitted from the rising competition between ISPs.  Sign the petition –  http://chn.ge/2GT3Chi

CAMPAIGN UPDATES

Internet Speed – Where is the Speed?

Internet Speed – Where is the Speed?It’s an irony that while writing this blog on internet speed, work was hampered several times because of slow internet speed. At a time when India is trying to make headway as Digital India, people in India are still struggling over...

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Digital India – Do we have the Right Internet Speed?

Digital India – Do we have the Right Internet Speed?Better living in the 21 st century is directly related to a better digital world. But is India really making progress in being Digital India? Do we have the sufficient bandwidth and speed to match up with the world?...

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MEDIA REITERATES OUR EFFORTS

Apr 16, 2018 | Mydigitalfc.com Impact of Internet on agriculture
Feb 25, 2018 | SundayGuardianLive
  E-commerce has empowered consumers
Internet speed far below what service providers claim: Study
Safer Cars in India | Consumer VOICE Initiative

Safer Cars in India | Consumer VOICE Initiative

Safer Cars in India | Consumer VOICE Initiative

OVERVIEW

Safer Cars in India is an initiative of Consumer VOICE as part of a global campaign for safer cars by Consumers International. Consumer VOICE organized 15 workshops in the months of June and July, 2017, across India to demand for safer cars for consumers in India. The pan-India campaign took place across 15 states from Jammu and Himachal Pradesh to Assam and Odisha which was aimed to reach out to over 5000 consumers.

CAMPAIGN FOCUS

When the world is making a shift to automated cars, Indian cars still lack in basic safety features like airbags, Antilock Braking System (ABS) and Electronic Stability Control (ECS). In order to demand for safer cars in India, Consumer VOICE organized workshops across India with the following objectives:

  •  To educate consumers on Car Safety aspects to create a demand of basic car safety features in all models introduced.
  •  To create a platform where ‘Voices’ across states will emerge to put pressure on Government and manufacturers to incorporate safety features.
  • To create awareness across states on the subject matter among masses through target audience, VCO’s and media.
  • To put pressure on manufacturers to stick to timelines for introduction of safety features.

STRATEGY

All of the consumer empowerment workshops started with a five minute film highlighting the real experiences of car crash victims, their relatives, and the trauma they have gone through and message they want to convey to all the
consumers, manufacturers and Government.Presentations were made by road safety experts, automobile experts and educated consumers on various road safety aspects and the need for safer cars. Throwing some light on the alarming figures on road traffic crashes,

Mr. Ashim Sanyal, COO, Consumer VOICE, during one of the workshops said,

“As per Indian Government figures, approximately 146,133 people were killed in road accidents in 2015 alone – averaging an alarming 1,374 crashes per day. Apart from reckless driving, a crucial component to road safety is safer vehicles on our roads. The worrisome part is that, despite being the world’s 4th largest automobile market, almost 60% of the cars sold in India aren’t equipped with basic safety features such as airbags and ABS, which can protect lives of car occupants in a crash." He further elaborated on the issue of safer cars as 5 popular Indian cars received a zero-star rating in GNCAP results. Zero-rated cars being bought and sold in India is a cause of concern often overlooked.”

IMPACT

  • Government officials from Traffic Police, and Road Safety joined the workshops and addressed the audience on various road safety aspects.
  •  Experts from Road Safety, Automobile Sector came forward and joined the workshops to impart education to target audience about safer vehicles, need to have safety devices and demand for safer vehicles in India.
  •  Pressure was created by efforts from workshops on manufacturers and Government.

CAMPAIGN UPDATES

MEDIA REITERATES OUR EFFORTS

Global road safety initiative

Feb 5, 2018 | The Tribune

The Drug De-addiction Society of the Government College of Commerce… Read more

Vehicle makers, govt agencies urged to focus on road safety

Jan 2, 2018 | The Hindu

Consumer education on vehicle safety requires greater involvement of vehicle makers… Read more

 

Trans fat free children

Trans fat free children

Trans fat free children

GLOBALLY…

  • Consumption of industrially produced trans fats are estimated to cause around 500,000 deaths per year due to coronary heart disease
  • Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), commonly referred to as heart disease or stroke, are the number 1 cause of death around the world
  • 11 out of 15 countries with the most coronary heart disease deaths due to trans fats
  • WHO currently attributes one-third of all global deaths (15.3 million) to CVD, with developing countries, low-income and middle-income countries
  • 1 in 3 deaths globally are as result of CVD, yet the majority of premature heart disease and stroke is preventable

IN INDIA…

  • Non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including CVDs, are estimated to account for 60% of total adult deaths in India
  • CVDs account for over a quarter (26%) of these deaths

CHILDREN AND TRANS FATTY ACIDS – THE CONNECTION

Trans fatty acids (TFA) are found in many ready-made foods at grocery stores and in many items at fast-food restaurants. Vegetable shortenings and margarine are composed primarily of  hydrogenated oils. Thus, any food product that contains shortening or margarine is likely to contain TFA , including cookies, crackers, snack bars, cereals, fried foods, and other baked goods.

Children are equally vulnerable in terms of consuming trans fats as the food items like fried foods and cookies are largely considered the ‘go to’ food for children. Although the adverse effects of trans fats are not seen until adult life, yet its manifestations begin from early childhood. Human studies have confirmed that trans fatty acids are transported across the placenta and that the percentages of trans fatty acids in maternal and infant plasma lipid profiles are similar. Even as toddlers, they are exposed to trans fatty acids through different snacks. Food habits in children are formed by the age of 5-6 years and by the time they reach their teens, they already are into a viscous cycle of unhealthy eating. But early intervention can prevent them from consuming foods rich in trans fats.

In India, school going children are also exposed to a lot of trans fat foods especially in school canteens in the form of fried foods, bhujia, namkeenand sweets.  Many of these foods  are made in vanaspati so that they can be preserved for long. Doctors also said that an interesting study by AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences) showed only 13 per cent of educated individuals pay any attention to what they are consuming, and the number of heart bypass surgeries among youth has also increased.  So it is time, that we need to sensitise the youth and adults of tomorrow on the harmful effects of trans fats and how to choose tour food more wisely.

“Making food trans fat-free, saves lives and saves money, and, by preventing heart attacks, reduces the burden on health care facilities, said Dr Tom Frieden, President and CEO of Resolve to Save Lives.

In order to minimise use of trans fats among school children, the Indian Food Regulator, FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India), recently announced a ban on the sale and advertisement of junk food in and around 50 meters of school premises.  However, soon after passing the order, the regulations on junk food in school canteens watered down as the idea of classifying food in yellow, red and green categories has been dropped by the government.  But this should not stop us, the civil society in creating awareness among school children and other stakeholders on the harmful effects of trans fats.

OBJECTIVES

  •  protect and sensitise the children on the harmful effects of trans fat
  • To inculcate the habit of healthy eating among school going children in India
  • To ensure that they become torch bearers for others in their schools and community
  • To create awareness on how to choose foods and what to eat in their growing years

STRATEGY

  • School Children will be sensitised through this program and will become torch bearers of healthy eating and share the knowledge further with peers and other stakeholders.
  • Webinars will be organised for spreading the message on healthy eating where experts through interactive session will propagate the idea on healthy eating
  • Short videos, educational infographics, creation of meme for students about transfats will be shared with students in online mode
  • Interactive materials will also be shared on various digital platforms to be accessed by all the stakeholders
  • Online workshops will be organised in schools with experts to help children understand the harmful effects of trans fats and generate awareness among various stakeholders like teachers, parents and staff.
  • Dissemination of information and knowledge sharing will be done through various digital platforms and even IEC kits.

EXPECTED OUTCOMES

  • Students will be sensitised on the ill-effects of trans fats and how it impacts their food habits and mental health.
  • Short videos on healthy eating will have a greater impact on the young minds
  • Teacher and parents will be contributing towards trans fat free products by motivating students to go for healthier choices.
  • An online pledge will be taken by students to avoid trans fat free food

ARTICLES ON TRANS FAT

CAMPAIGN UPDATE