Food

Kerala imposes 14.5 per cent fat tax on branded restaurants selling junk food

A 2016 study published in the International Journal of Diabetes in Developing Countries found high incidence of Type-2 diabetes among the industrial workers in Kerala

 
By Karnika Bahuguna
Last Updated: Friday 08 July 2016

In a move that can positively impact public health, Kerala has imposed a 14.5 per cent fat tax on branded restaurants selling junk-food. State Finance Minister Thomas Isaac announced the tax on Friday while presenting the budget.

The minister said that the tax would be imposed on branded restaurants selling junk foods including pizza, burger, taco, doughnuts and so on. The state is likely to raise around 100 million rupees through the new tax. 

Though the minister did not mention the reason for imposing the tax, it is expected that the move will have positive implications on public health.

A 2016 study published in the International Journal of Diabetes in Developing Countries found high incidence of Type-2 diabetes among the industrial workers in Kerala.

“Progression to pre-diabetes and diabetes occurred at a very fast rate in this population, indicating the need for preventive measures to slow down this fast progression,” the study had said.

Another study published in the International Journal of Scientific Study in 2014 on the prevalence of obesity and overweight among school going children in rural areas of Ernakulam district found child obesity to be an emerging health problem.

It found higher frequency of obesity in boys as compared to girls.

“Precise causes of this marked increase in prevalence are unclear, but results from both increased intake of energy–dense food and reduced exercise. Energy expenditure has fallen due to an increase in sedentary behaviour. Hence, appropriate nutritional intervention programmes involving school children, their parents and school authorities have to be conducted,” the study had concluded.

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