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An Evaluation of the Healthiness of the Indian Packaged Food and Beverage Supply

Food Policy Division, The George Institute for Global Health, UNSW Sydney, Sydney 2042, Australia
Charles Perkins Centre, University of Sydney, Sydney 2006, Australia
Carolina Population Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27516, USA
Access to Nutrition Foundation, 3511 Utrecht, The Netherlands
The George Institute for Global Health, Hyderabad 500034, India
Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford, Oxford OX37BN, UK
Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2017, 9(10), 1103;
Received: 27 July 2017 / Revised: 1 September 2017 / Accepted: 29 September 2017 / Published: 9 October 2017
Availability of less-healthy packaged food and beverage products has been implicated as an important driver of obesity and diet-related disease. An increasing number of packaged foods and beverages are sold in India. Our objective was to evaluate the healthiness of packaged foods sold by India’s largest manufacturers. Healthiness was assessed using the Australian Health Star Rating (HSR) system and the World Health Organization’s European Regional Office (WHO Euro) Nutrient Profile Model. Sales-value-weighted mean healthiness and the proportions of “healthy” products (using a validated HSR cut-off of ≥3.5, and products meeting WHO Euro criteria as healthy enough to market to children) were calculated overall, by company and by food category. Nutrient information for 943 products sold by the 11 largest Indian manufacturers was obtained from nutrient labels, company websites or directly from the manufacturer. Healthiness was low overall (mean HSR 1.8 out of 5.0 stars) with a low proportion defined as “healthy” by both HSR (17%) and also by WHO Euro criteria (8%). There were marked differences in the healthiness of similar products within food categories. Substantial variation between companies (minimum sales-value-weighted mean HSR 0.5 for Company G, versus maximum HSR 3.0 for Company F) was a result of differences in the types of products sold and the nutritional composition of individual products. There are clear opportunities for India’s largest food companies to improve both the nutritional quality of individual products and to improve their product mix to include a greater proportion of healthy products. View Full-Text
Keywords: nutrient profiling; packaged foods; public health nutrition; India; food manufacturers nutrient profiling; packaged foods; public health nutrition; India; food manufacturers
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Jones, A.; Dunford, E.; Crossley, R.; Thout, S.R.; Rayner, M.; Neal, B. An Evaluation of the Healthiness of the Indian Packaged Food and Beverage Supply. Nutrients 2017, 9, 1103.

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