World Heart Day Today
Number of heart patients on the rise
Reza Mahmud :
World Heart Day is being observed today (Tuesday) globally.
The day is observing while Bangladesh is in serious risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) due to limitless use of trans fatty acid (TFA) or transfat in foods.
Partially Hydrogenated Oil or PHO is the main source of transfat, which is familiar as dalda or bonospoti in Bangladesh.
The CVDs are the number one cause of death globally.
The theme for this year's 'heart day' is "Use heart to beat cardiovascular diseases (CVDs)."
Sources said, trans fat is one of the major causes for the increased risks of heart diseases.
According to World Health Organisation data, Bangladesh ranks among the 15 countries with the highest burden of heart disease deaths.
Different researches found that the most of the heart disease are caused due to huge use of TFA in foods including cakes, biscuits, vermicelli and other bakery products.
Besides, hotel and restaurants are using dalda to fry different types of breakfast items like parata mostly.
As per data, 277,000 people die in Bangladesh every year due to heart diseases.
It showed also that 4.41 per cent of those deaths is attributable to trans fat.
Approximately 250,000 people die of heart diseases globally due to transfat.
World Health Organization (WHO) limit the TFA level to 2 per cent in total fat or oil using in foods, but Bangladeshi food making industries and restaurants totally unaware about the matter.
In a recent study conducted by the National Heart Foundation Hospital and Research Institute, 92 per cent of sampled PHOs from Dhaka city contain TFA levels above the 2 percent limit.
The sampled PHOs even showed a staggering high concentration of TFA, 20.9g per 100 grams, which is more than 10 times the WHO-set level limit.
Excessive consumption of TFA increases risks of deaths from heart diseases as well as heart attacks.
Bangladesh is yet to introduce any law or regulation to protect the public health from the harms of TFA.
However, the Bangladesh Food Safety Authority (BFSA) has taken a policy on TFA regulation and formed a technical committee comprising of relevant experts.
The committee has already prepared a position paper to regulate on the issue.
On occasion of World Heart Day, ABM Zubair, Executive Director of PROGGA (Knowledge for Progress), a research and advocacy organization, said courtiers across the globe are uniting to eliminate transfat.