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Unhealthy trans-fats in Indian fast-food brands, finds study

Fast-food meals and snacks in India contain dangerous levels of trans-fats and salt, an analysis from the combative Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has found. A single packet of potato chips can meet half the daily requirement of fats in a person; a packet of instant noodles has half the salt a human body can absorb in a day.

The CSE blames weak food labelling laws for the low consumer awareness. "Sugar, salt and fat are items that need to be regulated. This means governments have to step in to control the powerful processed food industry. But this is not happening in India. It believes the food industry has full privilege to sell anything – and kill people slowly and sweetly," said CSE in an analysis published in Down to Earth, its magazine, and released to the media.

In its two-month study, it analysed specific fast-food brands such as Pepsico’s Lays, McDonald’s Happy Meal, Haldiram’s Aloo Bhujiya, and KFC’s Fried Chicken. And, found just one packet or one serving of these contain harmful levels of trans-fats, salt and sugar. The companies in question have, however, strongly denied these claims, saying their process of preparation does not allow for trans-fats.