India introduces 'fat tax' on fast food to curb obesity

The 14.5 percent tax is aimed to make people more conscious of the food choices they make

By
Web Desk
India introduces 'fat tax' on fast food to curb obesity

Kerala became the first Indian state to introduce a ‘fat tax’ on food such as burgers, pizzas, doughnuts and tacos.

The 14.5 percent tax is aimed to make people more conscious of the food choices they make, the recently-elected Communist government said, the BBC reported.

"This is more of a preventive measure as Kerala's food habits are changing dramatically. People are eating a lot of junk food and rejecting traditional food," says Finance Minister Thomas Isaac.

A large number of people in Kerala face obesity, a health survey in the country claims.

As expected fast food restaurants are not happy with the decision with some saying that the ambit of the tax is narrow.

"A lot of local food is more fatty and unhealthy. I don't think the tax is a bad thing but it has to be comprehensive and acceptable to all the stakeholders," says Mr Alexander, owner of a local café.

"Otherwise it is discriminatory. Just because you serve pizza and burger doesn't mean other people are serving healthy food."

Turns out Kerala is not the first in the world to introduce a ‘fat tax’ on citizens. In 2011 Denmark introduced fat tax but repealed in 2013 when it discovered that people were buying fast food across the border.

The Kerala government plans to expand the tax net to refined flour and sugary drinks. "The fight against fat has just begun," said minister Thomas Isaac.