Public Health Experts Ask Amitabh Bachchan to dissociate from Horlicks
Calling sugary solutions a myth when it comes to tackling undernutrition in India, several public health experts, including Nutrition Advocacy in Public Interest (NAPi) have requested Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan to dissociate from Horlicks brand like he did with Pepsi. 
 
NAPi in its letter to Mr Bachchan says, "Horlicks is a high sugar product, as 100 gram of a popularly advertised pack of Horlicks Delight, contains 78 gram of carbohydrates of which 32 grams is sucrose sugar." 
 
A recent partnership between Horlicks and Network 18 rendered support to the Indian Government's “Rashtriya Poshan Abhiyaan" to curb undernutrition in India. Many people welcomed this step as they roped in Amitabh Bachchan as the face of this project. The name of the campaign is similar to Poshan Mission of the Government and is called "Mission Poshan".
 
"It is quite shocking to see that Mr Bachchan, who is a celebrity of the millennium agreed to support brand building of Horlicks, which is a sugary product,” says NAPi.
 
In 2014, Mr Bachchan had renounced his association with Pepsi based on health implications it has on children.
 
Undernutrition mostly creeps into the resource poor households, feels Dr Arti Maria, Head of Neonatology Department at Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital in New Delhi. She says, "I fear that this campaign may have serious adverse repercussions: Horlicks is expensive; is likely to drain pockets of marginalised families under the misbelief that 'Horlicks' is a good nutritious product for children as it is endorsed by Mr Bachchan. Thus Horlicks may displace healthy real family home foods and this way contravenes tackling the problem of undernutrition among children."
 
Renowned British cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra, who is also author of “The Pioppi Diet” and former Director of Action on Sugar, UK, says, "Amitabh Bachchan’s association with “Horlicks” can be harmful. High sugar foods and beverages should be prohibited for children. Sugar has no nutritional value whatsoever and causes no feeling of satiety. Aside from being a major cause of obesity, there is increasing evidence that added sugar increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and fatty liver.” 
 
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a reduced daily intake of free sugars throughout the life course to less than 10% of total energy intake. Furthermore, in the interest of good health WHO suggests intake of free sugars to below 5% of total energy intake. In 2016, the World Health Assembly (WHA) adopted a Resolution 69.9 that recommends ending inappropriate promotion of foods for children from age 6-36 months based on WHO and FAO dietary guidelines.
 
According to Professor HPS Sachdev of Sita Ram Bhartia Institute, this amounts to creation of a manipulative nexus, based on conflicts of interest. Celebrities should avoid lending their name and image to such products.
 
Dr JP Dadhich, who is a senior paediatrician from Rohini, says, “Promotion of Horlicks stating that it helps kids in gaining height, weight, brain development and healthy immune system is inappropriate as these claims are scientifically unsubstantiated. This campaign is misleading and undermines optimal nutrition."
 
NAPi has urged Mr Bachchan to call off this association with Horlicks in public interest and children’s health.
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    COMMENTS

    Anindya Bhattacharya

    1 year ago

    I would be happy to see Mr. Bachchan calls off his association with Horlick. But, at the same time I am a bit confused to see that no organisation have showed interest to take the company to court to persuade them stop production of Horlicks. We have seen similar actions in the past for tobacco products.

    Mahesh S Bhatt

    1 year ago

    Amitji kar dalo Horlicks endorsements bandh Khuddar Mahesh Bhatt

    Ramesh Poapt

    1 year ago

    Amitabh must not have agreed to such this dirty marketing.or he belongs to that category? yes i say..for sure

    Govt decriminalises suicide, bans electric shocks to mentally ill children
    Attempting suicide is no more a crime in India and there will be no more electric shocks for mentally ill children, as per the new Mental Healthcare Act 2017 notified by the Health Ministry on May 29, a year after it was passed.
     
    "Notwithstanding anything contained in Section 309 of the Indian Penal Code, any person who attempts to commit suicide shall be presumed, unless proved otherwise, to have severe stress and shall not be tried and punished under the said Code," says the Act.
     
    As per the Act, the government will have the duty to provide care, treatment and rehabilitation to the person, who attempts suicide and has severe stress, to reduce the risk of recurrence of attempt to commit suicide.
     
    The 2017 Act, which clearly defines mental illness, replaced the Mental Health Act 1987. Aimed at transforming the mental healthcare regime in the country, it is enacted to harmonize India's laws with the Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol.
     
    The treatment and rehabilitation cost for persons with mental illness living below the poverty line, even without the possession of a BPL card, or those who are homeless would be free of any charge at all mental health establishments run or funded by the appropriate government.
     
    Further, the Act bans electric shock as a method of treatment for mentally ill children. It also bans electric shocks for adults with mental illness without the use of muscle relaxants and anaesthesia. Sterilisation of men and women as a treatment for mental illness is also prohibited. And, it also prohibits tying mentally ill persons with chains.
     
    "Every person with mental illness shall have a right to live with dignity... There shall be no discrimination on any basis including gender, sex, sexual orientation, religion, culture, caste, social or political beliefs, class or disability," says the Act as it tries to bring the mentally ill at par with the physically ill in terms of provision of healthcare services.
     
    The Act also ensures the right of mentally ill to live in, be a part of and not be segregated from society. He will not continue to remain in a mental health establishment merely because he does not have a family, is not accepted by his family, is homeless or due to absence of community based facilities.
     
    The notification has been widely welcomed with the expectation that with adequate awareness, it will ensure the mentally ill with the right to live with dignity would increase conversation about mental healthcare and would help remove the stigma associated with mental illness.
     
    Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
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    In Asia, anything furry can be sold as a 'puppy' (The Funny Side)
    This columnist's daughter brought home a strange fuzzy creature that she said was a dog she was looking after to earn pocket money, but I've seen Gremlins, Ghoulies, Critters, Troll, Chucky et al. It's always the small, innocent-looking things that rise up and kill you in the night.
     
    Asia is relatively new to pet-ownership and so it's easy to claim that pretty much anything furry is a puppy -- skunks, raccoons, capybaras, giant tarantulas, wigs, floor mops, mouldy meat and certain types of deciduous shrubs.
     
    A news report is circulating at the moment about a family in China's Yunnan province whose "puppy" grew up to be a 115-kilo bear. But regular readers of this column will know that this happens regularly in that country, and I would be more surprised by a headline which said: "Puppy Sold As Puppy In China Actually Was One."
     
    While waiting for my daughter's thing to slaughter my family, I checked my email to find a dog-related news story sent in by a reader. A householder left his dog to guard his home when he went out. A burglar broke in and the dog simply followed the man around, wagging his tail. The whole thing was captured on a security video, which quickly went viral on the Internet.
     
    This didn't surprise me at all. This columnist has an old dog who barks ferociously at family members, but gives strangers a friendly licking.
     
    A vet once told me that a dog's brain was the size of a walnut, but that's an insult to walnuts. You read about some dogs being able to smell things on other planets, but mine can't find a chunk of meat she's sitting on.
     
    It was a good thing that the burglar incident happened in the United States. Housebreakers who enter homes in China to be jumped on by bottom-wagging grizzly bears with names like Rover and Buddy may find it an unpleasant surprise.
     
    Some Chinese zoos exploit this unfamiliarity. In 2013, a zoo in the People's Park of Luohe, Henan province, displayed a suspiciously small creature in the enclosure labelled "African Lion". When visitors approached, it started barking -- revealing itself to be a dog with its fur trimmed to look like a mane. The zoo's leopard was a fox and its wolf a mongrel.
     
    Is your dog a bear? To know for sure, just listen to it. Bears, like married men, communicate entirely by grunting. Dogs bark - but having travelled a lot, this writer knows that they sound different depending on where you come from. Indonesians say hounds go: "guk-guk" (except in Bali where they go "kong-kong"). In Hindi, it's "bow-bow", in Sinhala "buh-buh" and in Thai "hong-hong". Americans hear dog sounds as "woof-woof". I think I would give the prize for accuracy to the Chinese, who claim dogs say, "Houh! Houh!" and the least accurate to the British, who hear hounds going: "Bow-wow".
     
    Meanwhile, my daughter's temporary dog-like thing spent the evening trying to gnaw on a large bone. Unfortunately it did not seem to realise that my left tibia was still in regular use.
     
    Tonight this writer may have to replace it with a cunningly selected deciduous shrub.
     
    Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
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