India asks Pepsi to cut down sugar content in soft drinks

India has asked U.S. soft drinks giant PepsiCo to reduce the sugar content of its sodas as the country battles growing levels of obesity and diabetes. PepsiCo Chairman Indra Nooyi met Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal during a visit to India on Tuesday to discuss its plans for healthier options and investing in India.

PepsiCo has been requested to further bring down the sugar content of soft drinks so that the health aspects of such products are duly taken care of.

Indian government spokesman

Undernutrition remains rampant in India. But soft drinks and fast-food consumption has increased among the middle classes as incomes have risen, leading to a rise in obesity and diabetes levels. Nooyi has said PepsiCo, the world’s second-largest beverage firm, aims to double its investment in Asia’s third-largest economy. Last year, she announced the company would invest $5.5 billion in India by 2020. India’s consumption of soft drinks remains low relative to its Asian neighbours, making the market particularly attractive.