A star rating for Chips and Chocolates?

In today’s Finshots, we talk about the Indian Nutrition Rating (INR) and the debate surrounding it.

Also, a quick side note. If you are a great communicator and passionate about joining our team, Ditto is looking to recruit a new Insurance advisor. And no, you don’t need to know about insurance. We will train you from scratch and you can enjoy working remotely with a great team. Click this link to apply for Insurance Advisor post (call) and this link for WhatsApp advisory post.

The story

Be honest. We all like to munch on snacks from time to time. It could be a pack of instant noodles, popcorn or a bag of potato chips. It is a good way to deal with your cravings.

And Indians are getting addicted to this. According to a survey conducted by Mondelez International and The Harris Poll, 8 out of 10 Indians surveyed said they replace whole meals with snacks. And not just any kind of junk food. Most foods are packaged. And according to Euromonitor it looks like the sale of ultra-processed food in India has tripled from 2 kg per capita in 2005 to 6 kg in 2019. And it is expected to reach 8 kg by 2024.

But we all know it’s not a healthy alternative.

Processed foods lead to obesity, diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular problems. It can make the entire population sick and unhealthy. So what do you do about it?

Apparently, FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) has a new formula — A star rating plastered on the front of food and snack packets that tells you exactly how healthy or unhealthy the product is.

Now, we’ve talked about star ratings in the past by explaining the Australian health star rating system, a fairly authoritative guide to rating edible products. In their own words –

The Health Star Rating System is based on comparing products in similar food categories and allows us to quickly compare the general nutritional profile of foods in that category. For example, we can compare one breakfast cereal with another, one muesli bar with another, or one margarine spread with another… The Health Star Rating can help you choose between similar products that are usually displayed together (eg whole grain bread and white bread)

Also Read :  Ways to Flush Your Liver of Toxins — Eat This Not That
Source: http://www.healthstarrating.gov.au/

The star rating will vary between half a star and 5 stars. And it takes a variety of nutritional information into account to determine what deserves a higher rating and what doesn’t. According to Australian guidelines at least, a health star rating of 3.5 or less is generally considered unhealthy and therefore you can make a reasonable assessment of the quality of the food you are eating.

And since the rating will be labeled right up front, it should be a useful guide right?

Well, not everyone thinks so. Not least those at Nutrition Advocacy for Public Interest (NAPi).

In March, they wrote to the Health Ministry and public policy think tank Niti Aayog on the matter. And they highlight an important point.

Their contention is that it’s easy to manipulate star ratings. For example, a chocolate bar that is high in sugar can include some nuts and increase its rating. They can also replace sugar with other alternative sweeteners and create products that are better positioned.

In fact, some doctors suggest that a one-star rating can create a positive perception. Consumers might think, “Hey, at least there’s something good about it and it’s not all bad.”

But what if the star system has worked elsewhere? Isn’t that useful to know?

Well, they tried it in Australia and let’s just say it didn’t work.

Mark Lawrence, professor of public health nutrition at Deakin University in Australia, told The Ken that 73% of ultra-processed foods on supermarket shelves display a rating of 2.5 stars or higher. Effectively, says Lawrence, who studied the implementation of star ratings, the ratings fail to convey any value — nutritionally — to consumers. [what does a 1.5 star really tell you about the actual sugar content?].

In Australia, products such as Diet Coke (loaded with artificial sweeteners) and ‘sugar-free’ gummies receive four and five stars respectively, while a pack of olives receives one star, and free-range eggs receive four stars.

So you can see why some people aren’t happy with the new recommendations. But if the star-based system didn’t work, what would you ask?

Also Read :  5 Pastas Made With the Highest Quality Ingredients — Eat This Not That

Well, symbols.

More specifically, color-coded symbols with interpretive text (eg, vegetarian and non-vegetarian symbols). In fact, the country’s food regulator, FSSAI published a draft paper in 2018, in an effort to overhaul food labeling and display guidelines. And it has some pretty solid recommendations.

For example, consider recommendations on color-coding certain basic nutrient information — If a dish contains sugar, salt or fat above a specified threshold (say 30% of the recommended daily intake), then a red block will indicate to consumers that they are not necessarily making the right choice. healthy After all, if you’re consuming a large portion of your daily recommended sugar intake with one candy bar, then you deserve to know in advance that you’re making that choice. In fact, the food regulator also stated that they “may introduce a color coding system in addition to labeling food as ‘Red’ within thresholds determined from time to time.” Perhaps referring to the fact that the block may be red, orange, and green, depending on the health risk it poses.

Also, guess what? When regulators in Chile introduced a similar system in that country, they found some very optimistic results. A year after the country introduced a warning system, “per capita consumption of carbonated drinks [stuff such as Pepsi and Coke] reduced by 24.9% in the first evaluation”.

Also Read :  Standard Bank and Woolworths sign milestone agreement

So yes, maybe that’s what we need if we’re trying to kick unhealthy snacking habits.

However, for now, FSSAI is still going ahead with the star-based system. Will this change? We don’t know.

Until later…

Don’t forget to share this article on WhatsApp, LinkedIn and Twitter

Ditto Insights: Stop paying your medical bills out of pocket!

2/3 of all medical bills in India are paid out of pocket. A large part of it is used to meet the expenses related to your hospitalization.

And it wipes out your savings

You can’t expect to grow your investments if you can’t protect your savings. Even if you start with ₹1 Lakh and compound it at 10% every year, a trip to the hospital can wipe out your profit and principal in a matter of days.

Medical inflation rises over 10% in India: While healthcare procedures in general have become more accessible, a hospital stay can set you back a bit, simply because rooms are now expensive. Staying in a single private room in a private healthcare facility in Bengaluru can cost more than ₹10,000 a day. It’s crazy.

No tax benefits: When you pay for medical procedures out of pocket, you will not get any tax benefits.

However, if you have insurance, you can protect your savings, get tax benefits and beat medical inflation at the same time. So here’s what you should do. Get yourself a comprehensive medical insurance plan now before you start your investment journey.

And if you need any help on the matter, you can talk to our advisors at Ditto.

1. Just go to our website —Link here

2. Click on “Book a FREE call”

3. Select “Health Insurance”

4. Choose a date & time according to your convenience and RELAX!

Our advisors will take it from there!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.