Trans-fatty acids killing 5.4 lakh a year: Govt

NEW DELHI : High intake of trans-fatty acids increases the risk of coronary heart disease, Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya told Lok Sabha on Friday.

In a written reply to a Parliament question, Mandaviya said industrially produced trans-fat is commonly found in packaged foods, baked goods, cooking oil and spreads. “Approximately 5,40,000 deaths each year are estimated to be attributed to the intake of industrially produced trans-fatty acids,” he said. The health minister said that high trans-fat intake may increase the risk of death from any cause by 34%, and coronary heart disease deaths by 28%.
“This is likely due to the effect on lipid levels: trans-fat increases LDL (low-density lipoprotein) or bad cholesterol levels while lowering HDL (high-density lipoprotein) or good cholesterol levels. According to the World Health Organisation, 4.6% of coronary heart disease deaths in India may be related to trans-fatty acid intake ( 0.5% of energy intake),” Mandaviya said.

Food Safety Standard Authority of India (FSSAI) has implemented best-practice policy as specified by WHO to gradually reduce the trans-fats consumption in India.

In this regard, the health minister explained, FSSAI has notified the Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restrictions on Sales) Second Amendment Regulations, 2021, on February 2, 2020, and Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Tenth Amendment Regulations, 2020, on December 29, 2020, to reduce the maximum limit of industrial trans-fatty acids to not more than 2% by weight in edible oils, fats and food products in which edible oils and fats are used as an ingredient. “These amendments came into effect from January 1, 2022. The changes introduced are in line with recommendations of the World Health Organisation,” he added.

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