Milk Bikis not equal to atta roti, milk: Nutrition advocacy group writes to Amitabh Bachchan a second time

NAPi is a group of individual experts in epidemiology, human nutrition, community nutrition and paediatrics, medical education, administration, and management.

By Sri Lakshmi Muttevi  Published on  16 Jan 2023 10:32 AM GMT
Milk Bikis not equal to atta roti, milk: Nutrition advocacy group writes to Amitabh Bachchan a second time

Hyderabad: When a celebrity endorses junk food and beverages as healthy then it leads to children pestering their parents to buy such food. Now, pediatricians and nutritionists are fighting against celebrities endorsing unhealthy food brands which has become a real concern for parents.

For the second time in two weeks, the Nutrition Advocacy in Public Interest-India (NAPi) team has written a letter to Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC) host and Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan requesting him to stop endorsing Britannia Milk Bikis.

NAPi is a group of individual experts in epidemiology, human nutrition, community nutrition and paediatrics, medical education, administration, and management.

The experts first wrote to Mr. Bachchan on 28 December 2022 about a YouTube clip from a recent KBC Junior episode where the actor appears to be saying that mothers do not need to struggle to make nutritious food for their kids anymore as Britannia Milk Bikis biscuits have the power of milk and atta (wheat).



“We are shocked and surprised to learn that you have chosen to endorse ‘Britannia Milk Bikis’ biscuits on a children’s TV programme. We want to draw attention to the fact that the advertisement for the biscuit brand misleads consumers by equating an unhealthy, ultra-processed, and pre-packaged food product, which is an industrial formulation, with real foods like ‘Atta Roti’ and ‘A Glass of Milk,’” read the letter.

After receiving no reply from Amitabh Bachchan, NAPi again wrote to him on 11 January 2023. “We write again since we did not hear from you. This time we would like to share with you important information that might help you to make decisions in the future that might not impact other people’s health rights,” read the letter.


According to NAPI, Britannia Milk Bikis falls in the category of ultra-processed foods (UPF) or high fat/sugar and salt foods (HFSS). According to the WHO Nutrient Profiling Model for South-East Asia Region, this category of food should have at most six grams of sugar, eight grams of fat, and 250 milligrams of sodium per 100 grams of the product. WHO advises that food products that cross this limit should not be advertised for children.

“However, Britannia Milk Bikis exceeds all three criteria and is a high-sugar, high-fat, and high-sodium product. It contains 23.4 g of sugar per 100 g, 17.8 g of fat, and 287 mg of sodium per 100 g,” NAPi pointed out in the letter. “This is harmful to children as increased consumption may contribute to childhood obesity, type-2 diabetes, and other non-communicable diseases in later life,” the letter added.


Speaking to NewsMeter, Arun Gupta, pediatrician and NAPi convenor, said, “We are yet to receive a response from Amitabh Bachchan to the follow-up letter sent with all the supporting documents to show why such products are unhealthy. The ingredients list given on the wrapper show how harmful it is for children.”

Not the first time

This is not the first time NAPi has written to celebrities asking them to stop endorsing unhealthy food items. They have been doing this for the past few years, but not many celebrities have responded. In 2014, Amitabh Bachchan renounced his association with Pepsi due to its health implications on children. Later, in 2018, he also rejected his association with Horlicks on the same grounds.

Former cricketer Virendra Sehwag promotes a burger from a popular fast-food chain and actor Rashmika Mandanna endorses the same brand. One of the common factors in all these ads is that the products endorsed have high fat, sugar, and salt content which the National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) has recommended avoiding.


NAPi also reminded these celebrities how unhealthy it is to consume high-sugar food products.

What does the Act say?

Food Safety and Standards Act 2006 prohibits misleading advertisements of food products. Moreover, the Consumer Protection Act 2019, in Section 2 (28), says “misleading advertisement” in relation to any product or service means an advertisement which (i) falsely describes such product or service; or (ii) gives a false guarantee to or is likely to mislead the consumers as to the nature, substance, quantity or quality of such product or service; and (iii) deliberately conceals important information.

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