Sunday, October 25, 2020 | ePaper

Unabated use of Trans Fat increases death risk

Bakery products and restaurant foods are most hazardous for health

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Reza Mahmud :
Unabated use of Trans Fatty Acid in food items has created wide range risk of premature death of people in all age groups.
Partially Hydrogenated Oil or PHO is the main source of Trans Fatty Acid (TFA) or Trans Fat, which is familiar as dalda or bonospoti in Bangladesh.
Professor Dr. Sohel Reza Choudhury of the National Heart Foundation Hospital and Research Institute told The New Nation, "As per different study it has been found that excessive consumption of TFA increases risks of deaths from heart diseases as well as heart attacks."  He said, 30 percent premature deaths are caused by heart diseases and most of them are for using TFA unabatedly.
Experts said, industrially produced TFA generates Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) which is known as bad cholesterol in blood.
The LDL is responsible for heart block and other serious cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) which pushed people to sudden deaths. The CVDs are the number one cause of death globally.
Bangladesh is yet to make any law or regulation to protect the public health from the harms of TFA.
ABM Zubair, Executive Director of PROGGA (Knowledge for Progress), a research and advocacy organization, said elimination of TFA is a cost-effective initiative that will contribute to reducing morbidity and death risks due to heart diseases.
When contacted, Manzur Morshed Ahmed, Member of Bangladesh Food Safety Authority (BFSA) told The New Nation, "A committee of BFSA has prepared a position paper to regulate on the issue."
He said, public awareness involving media, is urgent to eliminate use of dalda and other source of TFA to save lives.
Contacted, Md. Nozir Ahmed, Deputy Director of Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI) told The New Nation, "BSTI work as per the government rules and regulation. There is no law or regulation regarding controlling TFA. It is yet to be regulated."
He said they are ready to take action if such a law is made.
As per various research reports conducted by World Health Organisation and other organizations showed TFA as one of the major causes of the increased risks of deaths and heart diseases across the globe.
According to World Health Organisation data, Bangladesh ranks among the 15 countries with the highest burden of heart disease deaths.
Trans Fat in foods is also responsible for high blood pressure, dementia and cognitive impairment and such other diseases.
In case of Bangladesh, bakeries are using huge TFA to preparing cakes, pastries, biscuits, vermicelli and other bakery items.
Besides, hotel and restaurants are using dalda to fry different kinds of breakfast and snack items like Parata.
Moreover, repeated use of oil to fry Singara, Samucha, Jilapi and others also generates TFA as per study.
Data showed, 2,77,000 people die in Bangladesh every year due to heart diseases.
It surveyed 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 TFA.
World Health Organization (WHO) limit the TFA level to two percent in total fat or oil using in foods, but Bangladeshi food making industries and restaurants totally unaware of the matter.   
In a recent study conducted by the National Heart Foundation Hospital and Research Institute, 92 per cent of sampled of PHOs using in different food items from Dhaka city found containing TFA levels above the two 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 limit.

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