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Now pay more for burgers, pizzas: Kerala imposes 14.5 per cent 'fat tax' on junk food items
In a move that may disappoint fast-food business in Kerala, the State government has introduced a 'fat tax' on food items falling in the category of junk food such as pizzas, burgers, tacos, sandwich and others.
The Finance Minister of the State said a fat tax of 14.5 per cent would be imposed on branded eateries selling food like pizzas, doughnuts, burgers, tacos, sandwiches, pasta, burger, patty and bread-filling, in his budget speech

Post the execution of the new tax, the business of fast-food chains such as McDonalds, Pizza Hut, Dominos, Subway etc. may suffer as they would be forced to increase the cost and pass on the load on customers. This may force customers to opt for something else.

Notably, it is newly-elected LDF administration that has imposed the new tax of 14.5 per cent on branded eateries and restaurant chains dealing with fast-food business.

One reason behind targeting fast-food enterprise can be the rising obesity level in kids. Few studies conducted earlier showed that obesity level is emerging among children in the State.

As per a 2010 study conducted by VMS Bellary, among high school students of Thiruvananthapuram's city corporation, while 6.3 per cent were obese, 12 per cent were overweight.

A 5 per cent tax on packaged wheat products, coconut oil and packaged basmati rice was also imposed by the State government. Moreover, disposable plastic glasses are also set to become expensive with a sudden 20 per cent tax imposed.

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