According to a recent report by the World Health Organization (WHO), five billion people globally are exposed to harmful trans fat, which is increasing their heart disease and death risk.
What are ‘transfats’?
- There are two broad types of trans fats found in foods: naturally-occurring and artificial trans fats.
- Naturally-occurring trans fats are produced in the gut of some animals and foods made from these animals (e.g., milk and meat products) may contain small quantities of these fats.
- Artificial trans fats (or trans fatty acids) are created in an industrial process that adds hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid.
- Transfats are associated with an increased risk of heart attacks and death from coronary heart disease.
- According to the World Health Organization, approximately 5.4 lakh deaths take place each year globally because of the intake of industrially produced trans fatty acids.
- The WHO has also called for the global elimination of transfats by 2023.
Initiatives taken to reduce trans-fat intake –
- National Level — Foods Standards and Safety Authority of India (FSSAI) launched a “Trans Fat-Free” logo for voluntary labelling to promote TFA-free products.
- Global Level — World Health Organisation launched a REPLACE campaign in 2018 for global-level elimination of trans-fats in industrially produced edible oils by 2023.