Fat Fight: Higher tax likely on unhealthy foods

What is the News?

Niti Aayog in its annual report has suggested that the Government can take actions such as taxation of foods high on sugar, fat and salt and front-of-the pack labelling to tackle rising obesity in the population.

Obesity Problem in India

The incidences of overweight and obesity are increasing among children, adolescents and women in India.

As per the World Health Organization, worldwide obesity has nearly tripled since 1975. 

According to the National Family Health Survey(NFHS-5) 2019-20, the percentage of obese women increased to 24% from 20.6% in 2015-16 while the percentage for men rose to 22.9% from 18.4% four years earlier.

In states like Telangana, Kerala and Himachal Pradesh, nearly one-third of men and women (in the age group of 15-49 years) are overweight or obese. 

Moreover, the National Center for Biotechnology Information has estimated that by 2030, Indians would account for 27.8% of worldwide obesity. 

What has Niti Aayog suggested in its report to tackle obesity?

India can take actions such as higher taxation on foods high on sugar, fat and salt and front-of-the pack labelling to tackle rising obesity in the population.

For instance, non-branded namkeens, bhujias, vegetable chips and snack foods attract 5% GST while for branded and packaged items, the GST rate is 12%. Further, the government can increase the tax on these non-branded products.

Source: This post is based on the article Fat Fight: Higher tax likely on unhealthy foods  published in Economic Times on 1st March 2022.

Print Friendly and PDF