Staff Reporter: With the call “Better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life” – for all, World Food Day 2021 observed on Saturday.
Marking World Food Day, PROGGA (Knowledge for Progress), National Heart Foundation of Bangladesh, and Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB) staged a virtual human chain, in association with Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI), urging to immediately finalize the “Limiting Trans Fatty Acid in Food Stuffs Regulations 2021”. Participants of the human chain, including civil society organizations i.e. Bangladesh Society for Safe Food (BSSF), Bangladesh Public Health Nutrition Association (BDPHNA), Food Organization, Bangladesh (FOB) as well as multi-sectoral professionals, public health and safe food activists, and people of all ages, took the social networking site Facebook to showcase pictures of them holding placards, festoons and posters with the demand.
Presence of industrially produced trans fat in food causes increased risks of heart diseases and related premature deaths. Almost half a million people die globally from trans fat-induced coronary heart diseases each year. Bangladesh ranks among the 15 countries with the highest burden of coronary heart disease deaths related to trans fat. The World Health Organization (WHO) has set the target of eliminating trans fat from the global food supply chain by 2023 and the Bangladesh Food Safety Authority (BFSA) is putting up efforts to formulate regulations to meet that target.
Participating in the human chain, Dr. Sohel Reza Chowdhury, Professor of the Department of Epidemiology and Research at the National Heart Foundation Hospital and Research Institute, told, “There is an increased prevalence of cardiovascular diseases among youths. Intake of trans fat-laden food is a major factor behind it. As so, in order to reduce risks of cardiovascular diseases, there is no alternative of eliminating trans fat from food.”
ABM Zubair, Executive Director of PROGGA, said that, “We have come to know that the regulations on limiting trans fat has completed its required vetting procedure and is waiting to be finalized. It is our hope that the government will ensure trans fat free safe food for all by speedily promulgating and implementing the regulation.”