Transfat free India by 2022
The government is aiming to make India Trans Fat free by 2022, a year ahead of target set by World Health Organization.
- Due to the unprecedented challenges faced by the world on account of the Covid pandemic, there has been a renewed focus on food, nutrition, health, immunity and sustainability.
- The key focus of this year is the elimination of trans-fat from the food supply chain.
- Transfat, which is present in partially hydrogenated vegetable oils such as vanaspati, shortening and margarine, is a major contributor to the rise in non-communicable diseases in India.
- Trans-fat is a modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular diseases (CVD).
- Eliminating CVD risk factor is especially relevant during COVID-19 as people with CVD are predisposed to have serious conditions having an impact on mortality.
Eat Right India movement
- Eat Right India movement by FSSAI, targets to promote safe and healthy food for everyone in an environmentally sustainable way.
- It is a part of its mandate to provide safe and wholesome food for all citizens.
- This will improve the food safety ecosystems and lift the hygiene and health of our citizens.
- Other initiatives
- Fit India Movement, along with Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Jal Jeevan Mission and other efforts of the Environment Ministry will improve the health of Indians and heal the environment.
- The government also launched the 'Eat Right Creativity Challenge' for schools which is a poster and photography competition and aims to promote healthy dietary habits.
What are trans fats?
- Trans fats, or trans-fatty acids, are a form of unsaturated fat.
- They come in both natural and artificial forms.
- Natural, or ruminant, trans fats occur in the meat and dairy from ruminant animals, such as cattle, sheep, and goats. They form naturally when bacteria in these animals’ stomachs digest grass.
- These types typically comprise 2–6% of the fat in dairy products and 3–9% of the fat in cuts of beef and lamb (1, 2).
- Dairy and meat-eaters needn’t be concerned.
- However, artificial trans fats — otherwise known as industrial trans fats or partially hydrogenated fats — are hazardous to your health.
- These fats occur when vegetable oils are chemically altered to stay solid at room temperature, which gives them a much longer shelf life.