Unsurprisingly, the marketing campaign and Meetha web site have drawn widespread public criticism particularly from public well being teams, however in line with ISMA Authorized and Taxation Director Bharati Balaji who’s main the marketing campaign, the affiliation has no intention to counter any of this because it ‘doesn’t see the necessity’.
“The Sugar and Well being marketing campaign has no industrial facet to it, we solely intention to succeed in out to shoppers with the right details about sugar primarily based on scientific R&D and most significantly primarily based on India,” Balaji advised FoodNavigator-Asia.
“Loads of data and articles circulating about sugar now’s being aped from requirements exterior of India which individuals are following blindfolded – For instance, there’s lots about sugar overconsumption occurring, however that is primarily based on WHO requirements, not Indian requirements.
“There isn’t a analysis factoring in the truth that 14% of the Indian inhabitants is malnourished so sugar is vital as an inexpensive vitality supply, or that Indian shoppers’ sugar consumption is without doubt one of the lowest worldwide.
“Individuals are attacking sugar blindly no matter the truth that there has not been any examine or analysis to again up these assaults, no knowledge or scientific analysis proving that the elimination of sugar robotically means higher well being. We need to convey the tutorial and well being specialists collectively to offer good data for individuals to make higher choices, that’s the intention of this marketing campaign.”
Balaji additionally cited analysis from the Indian Council of Medical Analysis (ICMR) which beneficial a really perfect day by day consumption of 30g sugar for Indian shoppers, but in addition discovered that at current girls are consuming on common 20.2g and males 18.7g day by day, beneath these beneficial intakes.
“WHO has completely different suggestions (5 to 10 teaspoons or 20g to 40g a day) but it surely should be remembered that the diets there are completely different too,” she mentioned.
“Many individuals there drink candy drinks like Coke as a staple with nearly each meal, getting lots of sugar from there already, however issues are completely different right here in India, so the identical measurements mustn’t apply.
“We’re requesting the federal government to do extra analysis on this, however a change in mindset can be wanted, and this can take time. We simply need to do our half by spreading the notice.”
Nevertheless, ISMA can be dealing with challenges within the type of new regulations by the Meals Security and Requirements Authority India (FSSAI), specifically the dreaded ‘crimson dot’ labelling of meals excessive in fats, sugar or salt (HFSS), saying that that is deterring shoppers from the appropriate understanding.
“The rules quoted WHO requirements, once more not making use of any native analysis, and we actually really feel there was no foundation to this and it’ll solely deter and mislead the plenty,” mentioned Balaji.
“No different nation has made one thing like this necessary, so why is India doing this? It makes much more sense to place a dietary label on packs and simply let shoppers make their very own choices relatively than such a dot. We’re calling for such requirements to be made primarily based on Indian knowledge earlier than pushing them ahead.”
Every little thing nonetheless sparsely
That mentioned, Balaji pressured that the intention of the marketing campaign is to not promote a rise in sugar consumption identical to that , and sugar nonetheless must be consumed sparsely.
“Something in extra goes to be dangerous, together with sugar. We undoubtedly nonetheless need individuals to take this sparsely, however stability this with the appropriate data too,” she mentioned.
“Energy as an entire are what shoppers want to fret about, which may come from sugar, protein, fat and so forth and we would like them to manage their energy and stay a wholesome way of life, not simply deprive themselves of 1 specific style and consider it can robotically make them more healthy.”