Bhubaneswar: The ready-to-eat packaged foods nowadays flooding the local and super markets are stated to be slowly making the kids and the youths vulnerable to several lifestyle diseases.
A recent study by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), a Delhi-based think-tank, on several easily available packaged food items like snacks, cheese, pizza, burgers and others hinted at very higher doses of salt, trans fats and other ingredients beyond permissible limits which could easily cross the daily limits of the intake. They warn that such habit can turn healthy people obese and make them prone to lifestyle diseases like hypertension and diabetes.
Several doctors and dieticians working in the Capital city also expressed apprehensions about the increased tendency of the new generation to opt for unhealthy fast foods and packaged foods. “Most of the things we prepare at home are natural like oil, flour, cereals and others and vegetables. But the packaged foods are kept in plastic covers for years. To increase their shelf life preservatives and chemical colours are added. They can never be an alternative to good food nor can be healthy,” said Dr Maheshwari Sangolli.
She also added, “They are not at all food. During processing the fibre from food is lost and extra salt is added. They are bad for health and must be shunned. We need to focus more on eating food which is natural.”
Dr Pooja Shah, another physician, said, “Regular consumption of such foods can lead to excess consumption (beyond daily permissible limits) of salt and other harmful ingredients present in the food. Such unhealthy habits can make people more vulnerable to lifestyle diseases like diabetes and hypertension.”
A new laboratory analysis by CSE on commonly available popular processed foods recently brought forth startling facts. The study claimed that most packaged foods and fast food items being sold in India contain dangerously high levels of salt and fat – the levels have been found to be much higher than the thresholds set by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), but not notified.
“Junk foods and their consumption are the primary contributors to this huge burden of non-communicable diseases that India is now grappling with. We cannot afford to ignore the warning that the CSE lab study has sounded,” said Amit Khurana, programme director (Food Safety & Toxins), CSE, New Delhi.
Manish Kumar, OP