India aims to achieve Trans Fat Free status by 2022.

Union Health Minister Dr Harsh said on October 16, 2020 that the aim of the government is to make India Trans Fat free by 2022. It is in line with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of a New India on 75 years of independence. If this is achieved, India would be a year ahead of target as set by World Health Organization (WHO).

Highlights

  • This was highlighted during the event on World Food Day organized by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
  • The world’s focus on food, nutrition, health, immunity and sustainability has been renewed amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • This year, India focuses on elimination of Trans Fats from the food supply chain.

Initiatives to Improve Health

  • Eat Right India movement  and Fit India Movement were launched by the minitry. These two movements along with Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and  Jal Jeevan Mission and will improve the health of Indians beside healing the environment.
  • Eat Right Creativity Challenge for schools was launched. It is a poster and photography competition that aims to promote healthy dietary habits.
  •  ‘Eat Smart City’ (challenge) by FSSAI was also launched in partnership with Smart City Mission and The Food Foundation, UK.  It seeks to create an environment of right food practices and habits in India’s smart cities.

Trans Fat

It is a food toxin that are present in partially hydrogenated vegetable oils (PHVOs). For Instance, vanaspati, shortening, margarine etc are such vegetables oil. It can also be found in baked and fried foods. Industrial trans fats are produced by adding hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils in order to make them more solid and to increase shelf life of foods.

Why trans fat is a concern?

It is the worst type of fats having severe health risks.  Trans fat leads to the rise in non-communicable diseases in India. Trans fat is also a  risk factor for cardiovascular diseases (CVD). About 5,40,000 people die globally of cardiovascular diseases every year. In India also around 60,000 people die of CVD. Trans fat is one of the contributor to increase the risk of CVD

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