The total number of health food and beauty stores in the country, including those in Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore and Chennai, increased by more than 50 percent to 10,832 in May this year, the country’s health ministry said.

The total number has been steadily rising since February this year.

Health minister Ramesh Kumar Jha said the number of retail outlets in India rose by about 20 percent over the previous year.

The government said the health department has directed the state governments to promote healthy lifestyles, and that health stores in their areas will have to offer food and drink products for free.

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