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Decoding food labels

Decoding food labels
FOOD labels mention the contents of packaged products. But can they be taken at face value? Flagging the issue of misleading claims on labels that can adversely impact consumers’ choices, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has issued a set of dietary guidelines.
It points out the glaring example of the deceptive nature of ‘sugar-free’ foods. While these products may seem like a boon for diabetics or those watching their weight, they could be loaded with fats, refined cereals and hidden sugars, significantly altering their nutritional profile. Similarly, packaged fruit juices may have a meagre 10 per cent fruit pulp, with the rest containing added sugars and other additives. The guidelines underscore the importance of scrutinising labels beyond the attractive health claims. Terms like ‘natural’, ‘whole grain’ and ‘organic’ may not guarantee such qualities in the product. Manufacturers often exploit these terms to capitalise on consumer preferences for healthier options, while the actual contents may fall short of expectations. The ICMR also questions the nutrition claims — terms like ‘low calorie’ or ‘high fibre’ are vague assertions unless backed with concrete facts.
 
Unfortunately, the ICMR’s advisory does not specifically address the needs of food allergy patients. For example, accurate labelling of gluten-free products is crucial to managing celiac disease and ensuring the wellbeing of the patients as even traces of gluten in foodstuffs can trigger adverse reactions in them. The medical body must advocate greater transparency and adherence to regulatory standards in gluten-free labelling. Misleading food labels contribute to the perpetuation of faulty dietary patterns, exacerbating obesity and other problems. The ICMR’s call to action is clear: consumers must exercise caution and diligence while making healthier choices for themselves and their families

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Obesity
(noun) – Overweight, corpulence, fatness, plumpness, bulkiness.

मोटापा

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Diligence
(noun) – carefulness, thoroughness, sedulousness, attentiveness,

लगन/ कर्मठता

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Exacerbate
(verb) – aggravate, worsen, inflame, intensify, exasperate

बढ़ाना / बिगाड़ देना

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Fall short of
(phrase) – fail to meet an expectation

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Back
(verb) – support, endorse, sanction, approve of

समर्थन करना

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Decode
(verb) – convert (a coded message) into intelligible language.

समझाना, व्याख्या करना

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Boon
(noun) – Benefit, advantage, bonus, windfall, gain, blessing 

वरदान

-
Meagre
(adjective) –Scanty, insufficient, inadequate, paltry, small

मामूली

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Underscore
(verb) – emphasize, underline, stress, highlight, accentuate

जोर देना

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Wellbeing
(noun) – Health, welfare, wellness, comfort

स्वास्थ्य/ भलाई

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Faulty
(adjective) – Defective, flawed, unsound, broken, imperfect

दोषपूर्ण

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Glaring
(adjective) – obvious, evident, clear, blatant

 सुस्पष्ट

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Scrutinise (verb) – Examine, inspect, analyze, review, evaluate

जांचना

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Advocate (verb) – Support, promote, champion, back, endorse

समर्थन करना

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At face value (phrase) – accept superficially, take as it appears, assume, accept without questioning, believe

बिना जांचे

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Additive (noun) – supplement, preservative, enhancer, ingredient, adjunct

खाद्य पदार्थों में मिलाया जाने वाला पदार्थ

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Question (verb) – doubt, challenge, query, scrutinize, interrogate

प्रश्न करना

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Celiac disease (noun) – a digestive disorder caused by gluten intolerance, an autoimmune disorder affecting the small intestine, gluten-sensitive enteropathy, gluten intolerance, wheat allergy

सेलिएक रोग

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Gluten (noun) – a protein found in wheat and related grains, a composite of storage proteins, a type of protein, wheat protein, grain protein

ग्लूटेन

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Perpetuation (noun) – continuation, preservation, prolongation, sustenance, maintenance

निरंतरता

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Call to action (noun) – a demand for action, a prompt to act, a call for intervention, an appeal for measures, a request for action

कार्यवाही के लिए आह्वान

 
 

 

 

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Assertion
(noun) – declaration, statement, claim, affirmation, Contention

दावा

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Address (verb) – tackle, see to, deal with, confront, grapple withसुलझाना, निपटाना

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Often
(adverb) – frequently, in many instances, repeatedly, again and again

अक्सर

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Adherence
(to) (noun) – Attachment or commitment to a person, cause, or belief. अनुपालन

-

Exercise (verb) – use, employ, make use of, utilize, avail oneself of

प्रयोग करना

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Vague (adjective) – Unclear, Imprecise, Indefinite, Ambiguous, Equivocal, Nebulous, Elusive, Inexplicit

   अस्पष्ट

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Deceptive
(adjective) – deceitful, false, misleading, fraudulent, dishonest

भ्रामक

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Point
out (phrasal verb) – indicate, mention, note, highlight, emphasize

इशारा करना

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Adverse
(adjective) – detrimental, negative, disadvantageous, unfavorable, harmful

प्रतिकूल

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Misleading
(adjective) – deceptive, false, fallacious, deceiving, specious

भ्रामक

Crucial (adjective) – very important, of great consequence, of the essence, critical, high-priority महत्वपूर्ण

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Adversely
(adverb) – unfavorably, badly, adverse

प्रतिकूल/ विपरीत ढंग से

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Dietary
(adjective) – Of or relating to diet.

खुराक-संबंधी

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Transparency
(noun) – clarity, limpidity, clearness, plainness, distinctness

पारदर्शिता

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Trigger
(verb) – Initiate, start, prompt, activate, cause, spark off, set off

शुरू करना

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Capitalize
on (phrasal verb) – cash in on, take advantage of, make use of, profit by, exploit

लाभ उठाना

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Concrete (adjective) – Tangible, solid, real, substantial, definite
ठोस

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Alter (verb) – change, make changes to, make different, make alterations to

बदलना

 

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Flag
(verb) – Indicate, signal, highlight, mark, signal

सूचित करना

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Exploit
(verb) – Use (a situation) in an unfair or selfish way.

अनुचित लाभ उठाना