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New Campaign to Eliminate Trans Fats by 2022

  • 01 Dec 2018
  • 3 min read

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) launched a new mass media campaign to eliminate industrially produced trans fat in the food supply.

    • “Heart Attack Rewind”, the 30 second public service announcement (PSA) - the first mass media campaign of its kind – will support FSSAI’s global target of eliminating trans fat in India by the year 2022, a year ahead of the global target by the World Health Organization (WHO) for complete elimination of trans fat.

  • The campaign will warn citizens about the health hazards of consuming trans fats and offer strategies to avoid them through healthier alternatives.
  • “Heart Attack Rewind” is a follow-up to an earlier campaign called “Eat Right”, which was launched in July, 2018. Edible oil industries took a pledge to reduce the levels of salt, sugar, saturated fat and trans fat content by 2% by 2022.
    • Swasth Bharat Yatra, an initiative started under the “Eat Right” campaign is a Pan-India cyclothon to engage citizens on issues of food safety, combating food adulteration and healthy diets.

Challenges in Eliminating Trans Fat by 2022

  • The FSSAI does not have any data on compliance to earlier limit of trans fats standards ( 5%) set by it in 2017. Moreover, it is still in the process of testing products to see if the industry has adhered to the regulation.
  • The industry wants to continue with the 5% limit for the next five years on following grounds:
    • Consumption of trans fats in India is much lower than the world.
    • There is no evidence to show that reduction of trans fats has led to any reduction in cardiovascular diseases.
    • If asked to remove trans fats, the industry would shift to saturated fats which are worse for health.

Way Forward

  • There is enough evidence to show that trans fats reduces good cholesterol, or High Density Lipoprotein and increases bad cholesterol, or Low Density Lipoprotein. There are also studies from around the world to substantiate that the risk of cardiovascular disease decreases after reduced intake of trans fat.
  • Moreover, India is not the only country where action is being taken over trans fats. After Denmark removed trans fat from food in 2003, Chile, Norway, Singapore, South Africa and Equador, Austria, Hungary and Latvia have followed suit. Therefore, it's high time Industries comply to regulations and even promote healthier alternatives.

Read more about Trans Fats

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