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COMMENTARY
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 182-183  

Reducing the intake of trans fat in the global food supply: World Health Organization


1 Vice-Principal Curriculum, Member of the Medical Education Unit and Institute Research Council, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpattu, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Submission11-May-2019
Date of Decision15-Oct-2019
Date of Acceptance11-Jul-2019
Date of Web Publication28-Feb-2020

Correspondence Address:
Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth (SBV) – Deemed to be University, Tiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpattu, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu - 603 108
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/mjdrdypu.mjdrdypu_128_19

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How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Reducing the intake of trans fat in the global food supply: World Health Organization. Med J DY Patil Vidyapeeth 2020;13:182-3

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Reducing the intake of trans fat in the global food supply: World Health Organization. Med J DY Patil Vidyapeeth [serial online] 2020 [cited 2020 Apr 5];13:182-3. Available from: http://www.mjdrdypv.org/text.asp?2020/13/2/182/279621



The spectrum of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) accounts for the deaths of more than 70% of the global deaths reported due to all the causes.[1],[2] These are alarming estimates as 37% of these are premature deaths, and the magnitude of the problem is further enhanced as more than 85% of these deaths are reported in low and middleincome nations.[1] The epidemiological analysis of these NCDs clearly indicates that a major proportion of them are either attributed to the modifiable behavioral risk factors such as tobacco use, lack of physical activity, unhealthy diet, and the harmful use of alcohol.[1]

As a matter of fact, unhealthy diet has been identified as the largest contributor to the burden of disease than the other three risk factors combined, as evidenced by 11.3 million deaths due to unhealthy diet, in contrast to the other three risk factors cumulative total.[1],[3] It has been reported that the consumption of trans fat has been linked with a significant rise in the incidence of coronary heart disease and close to 0.5 million deaths each year globally.[3] Even though trans fat is naturally present in small amount in some of the products of animal origin, the real origin is through the partial hydrogenation of edible oils which are then added to processed foods to increase their shelf life, improve taste, and ensure cost reduction.[3]

Acknowledging the magnitude of the problem and the associated complications, the daily target for trans fat intake should be < 2g.[4] However, for the accomplishment of the same, we have to respond to various challenges like the most popular Indian snacks are often from small business eating establishments, who reheat the oil for frying. Even though industrial control is doable, to check small eating establishments is an extremely difficult task. In this case, the solution lies in making the consumers aware about the presence of trans fat and educating them for a behavioral change to reduce its consumption.[1],[2],[3]

The need of the hour is to ensure that the government should target actions, including formulation of legislative provisions.[3],[4],[5] Already, standards for trans fat and compulsory nutrition labeling have been formulated by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India. Nevertheless, it should be always remembered that the most affected population is from the lower socioeconomic status and thus requires our maximum attention.[3] The need of the hour is to target individuals through behavioral approaches and communities through regulatory approaches or taxes.[4],[5]

In the mission to eliminate industrially produced trans fat in the food supply chain, the industries have come out with a stepwise replace approach.[4] Under this, emphasis has been given toward review of dietary sources which contain industrially produced trans fat, promoting replacement of trans fat with healthier fats and oils, implementation of legal measures, assessment and monitoring of the content in food supply, and activities to increase awareness about the illeffects among all stakeholders and ensure strict enforcement of the regulations.[3],[4],[5] In fact, the industrial members have also shown their commitment to meet the proposed target worldwide by the year 2023.[4],[5]

In conclusion, the approach to eliminate the industrially produced trans fat can be looked upon as one of the most effective ways to establish a healthy food supply chain and reduce the incidence of NCDs, and thus, it requires a concerted approach to respond to the problem.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
World Health Organization. Noncommunicable Diseases – Key Facts. World Health Organization; 2018. Available from: https://www.who.int/ news-room/fact-sheets/detail/noncommunicable-diseases. [Last accessed on 2019 May 11].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Noncommunicable diseases: Strengthening the process of data collection for potential risk factors. Ann Trop Med Public Health 2017;10:1381-2.  Back to cited text no. 2
  [Full text]  
3.
World Health Organization. WHO Welcomes Industry Action to Align with Global Trans Fat Elimination Targets. World Health Organization; 2019. Available from: https://www.who.int/ news-room/detail/07-05-2019-who-welcomes-industry- action-to-align-with-global-trans-fat-elimination-targets. [Last accessed on 2019 May 11].  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Ghebreyesus TA, Frieden TR. REPLACE: A roadmap to make the world trans fat free by 2023. Lancet 2018;391:1978-80.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Hyseni L, Bromley H, Kypridemos C, O'Flaherty M, Lloyd-Williams F, Guzman-Castillo M, et al. Systematic review of dietary trans-fat reduction interventions. Bull World Health Organ 2017;95:821-30.  Back to cited text no. 5
    




 

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