Public health experts are asking Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan to dissociate with Horlicks as it is a sugary product and is against government’s recently launched National Nutrition Mission.
A group of nutritionists is supporting this cause and they believe that sugary solution is a myth for tackling under-nutrition in India.
“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 letter that has been sent to Bachchan read.
“This development reeks of conflict of interest as Horlicks by announcing its support for a mega government scheme is looking to indulge into a brand-building exercise and will have far-reaching repercussions,” Arun Gupta, a member of National Nutrition Mission said in a recent interview.
Nutritionists believe that Horlicks is harmful to children and it may contribute to obesity among kids with can lead to several diseases later. “We hope you are aware that WHO recommends a reduced daily intake of free sugars throughout the life course to less than 10 percent of total energy intake.” the letter sent to Amitabh Bachchan read.
“We believe that this campaign is misleading and undermines optimal nutrition. Big food companies are known to adopt marketing tactics that build brands by entering through the back door. Horlicks, in this case, is championing the cause of nutrition,” health experts have written to the actor.
Brands know that Indians have the tendency to buy products that celebrities recommend to them and actor/actresses are paid high for this. Some celebrities are now careful while choosing brands and they even discontinue the contacts if they feel that wrong message is being delivered to the audience. Virat Kohli said no to Pepsi’s millions of dollar offer as he has stopped consuming such drinks in his real life. Mr. Bachchan also did a similar thing when he called off an endorsement with Pepsi in 2014 calling it unhealthy. Health experts are expecting him to call off the association with Horlicks.