Speakers in a webinar here on Tuesday urged the government to finalize regulations to limit the intake of trans fatty acids (TFAs) or foods high in trans fat, which is a major cause of heart disease.
On the eve of World Heart Day 2021 (September 29), the webinar titled “The Risks of Trans Fat-Induced Heart Disease in Bangladesh and the Way Forward” was co-hosted by PROGGA (Knowledge for Progress) and the National Heart Foundation of Bangladesh in association with Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI).
“The elimination of trans fats will play a key role in the prevention of noncommunicable diseases. We expect the government to finalize the regulation as soon as possible, ”said Professor Sohel Reza Chowdhury of the National Heart Foundation.
Muhammad Ruhul Quddus, Country Manager for GHAI in Bangladesh, said: “Unless trans fats in food are eliminated, the risks of trans fat-induced heart disease will increase, health service spending will increase, and the risk of trans fat-induced heart disease will increase. the country’s economy will suffer losses. “
PROGGA executive director ABM Zubair said young people generally consume more foods high in trans fats. “If trans fats are not eliminated from food products, the younger generation will be exposed to fatal health risks,” he said.
Read: Public health at risk as PHO found excess trans fat in town: study
During the webinar, he said that TFAs or trans fats are a toxic element in food that increases the risk of heart disease and associated premature death. Ghee dalda or bonospoti, as well as foods prepared with it, fast food and baked goods contain trans fats.
A study estimated that one in five young people in Bangladesh are vulnerable to heart disease.
In an effort to reduce the prevalence of risks of heart disease and associated premature death, WHO has set a goal of eliminating trans fats from the global food supply chain by 2023.
The Bangladesh Food Safety Authority (BFSA) drafted the “Restriction of Trans Fatty Acids in Foods Regulations, 2021”. It has already been verified, but not yet finalized.
With the theme “Use the Heart to Connect”, World Heart Day 2021 will be celebrated on Wednesday.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. Even more alarmingly, young people in Bangladesh are very likely to be recently diagnosed with heart disease. Consuming foods high in trans fats is a major cause of heart disease.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Bangladesh ranks among the 15 countries most affected by heart disease induced by trans fats.