Trans fatty acids pose a serious threat to public health: health experts

Trans fatty acids pose a serious threat to public health: health experts

RAJSHAHI, June 11, 2024 (BSS) – Excess trans fatty acids in food pose a serious threat to public health, raising serious concerns among health experts in the country.

Overrated trans fats cause the incidence of heart disease and various other non-communicable diseases, as well as the overall risk of death in Bangladesh.

To protect public health, it is important to ensure safe food by controlling the levels of trans fats in food.

The government has adopted the ‘Control of Trans Fatty Acids in Foodstuffs Regulation 2021’ to restrict the use of trans fats in food. However, there has been little progress in its implementation.

Comprehensive regulatory implementation is needed to reduce the risk of trans fat-related heart disease.

Government officials and health experts came across this observation during discussions today in a webinar titled “Implementing Trans Fatty Acid Control Regulations: Progress and Next Steps.”

PROGGA (Knowledge for Progress) organized the meeting with the support of the Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI) on the occasion of World Food Safety Day 2024.

This year’s theme is “Food Safety: Prepare for the Unexpected.”

According to the WHO’s 2022 Global Trans Fat Elimination Report, 43 countries, including neighboring India, have implemented best practice policies to combat trans fats in food.

In his remarks, Bangladesh Food Safety Authority (BFSA) member Dr Mohammad Mostafa said the implementation of the Trans Fatty Acids Regulation consists of different stages.

“We are moving forward step by step and are optimistic that full implementation of the regulation will begin soon,” he added.

Taking part in the discussions, Bangladesh Standards and Testing Authority deputy director Enamul Hoque said there were some technical limitations in implementing the regulation. However, they are actively working to overcome them.

Founder President of BFSA Mustak Hassan Iftekhar, Country Manager of GHAI in Bangladesh Ruhul Quddus, Head of Epidemiology and Research Department of National Heart Foundation Professor Sohel Reza Choudhury, Head of Nutrition at Department of Diet and Nutrition, BIRDEM General Hospital Shamsun Naher Nahid, Vice President of Bangladesh Consumers Association , Nazer Hossain and PROGGA executive director ABM Zubair also spoke.

PROGGA coordinator Sadia Galiba Prova moderated the discussion.