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Kerala Government proposed 14.5 per cent fat tax on junk food

Jul 9, 2016 13:23 IST

Kerala Finance Minister T M Thomas Isaac on 8 July 2016 proposed 14.5 percent tax on pizzas, burgers, sandwiches and tacos sold through branded outlets.

The so-called ‘fat tax’ was proposed in the maiden State Budget of the Pinarayi Vijayan-led Government that came into power in May 2016.

The tax is aimed at dissuading children from eating a lot of energy dense foods. Its imposition has become necessary as Kerala is the second most obese State in the country.

As per an estimate, over 10 per cent of adolescent girls in Kerala experiencing various effects of obesity like Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.

WHO advice

Kerala Government’s decision to impose fat tax on junk fund is in tune with the World Health Organization’s advocacy of using fiscal tools to promote healthy eating.

In its 2015 report titled Using price policies to promote healthier diets, the WHO suggested the policy makers to impose taxes on junk foods as they are the leading cause of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, etc.

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