There are roughly 194.6 million people in India who are undernourished.
So it seems oddly contradicting that Kerala, a pretty popular tourist destination, is becoming obese.
Following other countries and their self-imposed taxes on unhealthy foods, like Britain’s sugary drink tax, Kerala is implementing their own for the first time. The vacation hotspot will execute a 14.5% ‘fat tax’ on fast food staples such as burgers, pizza, tacos, doughnuts, sandwiches, and pastas. It’ll apply to branded restaurants and large food retailers in an effort to slow the obesity epidemic swallowing the state.
While the key issue was to shore up tax revenue, officials insist the proposal was introduced for the health factor as well.
“There has been an alarming trend in the growth of unhealthy eating habits among Keralites and we hope the fat tax will be a deterrent,” Rajan Khobragade, commissioner of commercial taxes, told the Times of India.
In comparison to the U.S., the obesity ‘epidemic’ in Kerala is almost insignificant. The total percentage of obese people is just 4% of the state’s population; in America, three states have surpassed 35%, and 22 states are over the 30% threshold.
Obesity is quickly becoming the globe’s most pressing health concern. A study in April says one in five people worldwide will be obese by 2025. Hunger is still an issue in many countries ironically, though researchers have concluded that the obese population now outnumbers the underweight demographic.
Funnily enough, despite the punishing 14.5% fat tax, Keralites can actually brag about their low obesity rate – in relative terms, of course.