Speakers at a webinar on Tuesday urged the government to finalise the regulations to limit the intake of Trans Fatty Acid (TFA) or trans-fat-laden foods, which is a major cause of heart diseases.
On the eve of World Heart Day 2021 (Sept 29), the webinar titled "Risks of Trans Fat-induced Heart Diseases in Bangladesh and Way Forward" was jointly organized by PROGGA (Knowledge for Progress) and National Heart Foundation of Bangladesh in association with Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI).
"Elimination of trans fat will play a key role in preventing non-communicable diseases. We expect that the government will finalise the regulations at the earliest," said Prof Sohel Reza Chowdhury of the National Heart Foundation.
Muhammad Ruhul Quddus, GHAI's Bangladesh Country Lead, said "Unless trans-fat in food is eliminated, the risks of trans-fat-induced heart diseases will rise, expenditure on healthcare services will increase, and the economy of the country will incur losses."
PROGGA Executive Director ABM Zubair said young people generally consume more trans-fat-laden food. "If the trans-fat is not eliminated from food products, the young generation will be at fatal health risks," he said.
At the webinar, it said TFA or trans-fat is a toxic food element that increases the risks of heart diseases and related premature deaths. Dalda or bonospoti ghee, as well as the foods prepared with it, fast food, and bakery items contain trans-fat.
A study has estimated that one in every five youths in Bangladesh is vulnerable to heart diseases.
Aiming to reduce the prevalence of risks of heart diseases and related premature deaths, the WHO has set the target of eliminating trans-fat from the global food supply chain by 2023.
The Bangladesh Food Safety Authority (BFSA) has drafted the "Limiting Trans Fatty Acids in Foodstuffs regulations, 2021". It has already been vetted, but not finalised yet.
With the theme of "Use Heart to Connect," World Heart Day 2021 is going to be observed on Wednesday, reports UNB.
Heart diseases are the prime cause of death globally. Most alarmingly, the youth of Bangladesh are highly prone to be diagnosed with heart diseases recently. Intake of trans-fat-laden food is a major cause of heart diseases.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Bangladesh ranks among the 15 countries with the highest burden of trans-fat-induced heart diseases.