“Don’t eat too much junk food, you’ll gain weight!”
We often hear our loved ones say such stuff. But is it just about being overweight or is there more to the story? Well, there definitely is. Trans fat present in bakery products, sweets, burgers, samosas and all other kinds of junk food claim many lives every year. Over-consumption of trans fat is an issue that is not given much heed.
It should be noted that there are two types of trans fats: natural and artificial. While natural trans fats are found in small amounts in dairy products and are harmless, artificial trans fats are harmful and lead to problems like cardiovascular diseases, cholesterol, and diabetes. It was recorded by the WHO that more than 500,000 people die every year due to cardiovascular diseases. According to the latest report by ICMR, India stands highest in the deaths related to trans fats consumption and that is 77,000 deaths annually. These numbers might increase in the coming years looking at the way people are enjoying junk food more than the healthy ones.
Artificial trans fats or industrially produced partially hydrogenated trans fats are harmful to health. The WHO recommends less than 2% of trans fats limit in food items. The current FSSAI standard is 5%. The draft notification by FSSAI will mark the amount of more than 3% on and from Jan 01, 2021 and more than 2% from Jan 01, 2022 as above the standard limit.
“Eat right India” is a campaign started for the welfare of consumers, and it aims to eliminate industrial trans fats from being regularly consumed. The aim of the Eat right India campaign is to highlight the issue of trans fat, and its consequences on health such as cardiovascular disease (CVD), hypertension and diabetes. Trans fatty acids (TFA) cause a rise of LDL (bad cholesterol) and lowers HDL (good cholesterol). Eliminating trans fats globally can save more than 10 million lives by reducing CVDs. According to WHO, every 2 per cent of calorie intake from trans fats increases the risk of heart diseases by an incredible statistic of 23 per cent.
VOICE is an organization that is aiming to sensitize media and public at large by engaging with industry and industry associations involved in producing oils, fats, and food items, and working with food regulators to prioritize implementing trans-fats regulations in food items. To safeguard the health of consumers, Consumer VOICE is also demanding immediate notification by FSSAI to make India free from trans fatty acids-laden foods by 2021.
Voice also held a workshop in Hyderabad on sensitizing people about the presence of artificial trans fats in food. It was addressed and attended by government dignitaries, cardiologists, nutrition experts and media journalists. Similarly, many workshops are held in schools and other campuses. Witnessing the current air quality in major cities of India, especially the Delhi-NCR region, it has become essential that we eat healthy.
The campaign aims to make the general public aware of the harmful effects of consuming trans fats. People, especially children, do not really think much before eating street foods and processed food items. Matters of health should be prioritized, and every individual should be made aware of such issues. We must know what our bodies are consuming, and how consumption of certain food items is affecting our lives.
Let’s make this campaign one of the national priorities by spreading it on social media and educate people about the ill-effects of trans fats. Why not spread the #EatRightIndia campaign on social media and spread awareness?!
Sign the petition now to make India trans fat free.