World Health Organization has set a world target of bringing down the amount of trans fat consumption to below 2 percent by the year 2023
In Bangladesh 2.77 lakh people die of heart disease every year. High level of trans fat is a major cause heart disease. Steps need to be taken soon to control trans fat consumption for reducing death from non-communicable disease by 2030.
This was disclosed at a workshop titled "Trans fat and Risk of Heart Disease" on Wednesday at Bangladesh Medical Association (BMA) Bhaban. Progotir Jonno Gyan and Anti-Tobacco Media Alliance organised the workshop.
Abu Ahmed Shamim, associate scientist and Dr Sheikh Mahbubus Sobhan, trans fat coordinator at James P Grant School of Public Health of BRAC University made presentations at the workshop.
Abu Ahmed Shamim said, "Ttrans fat is a type of unsaturated fat that exists mainly in Partially Hydrogenated Oils (PHO) which is known in Bangladesh as Dalda or Vanaspati Ghee. It contains 25 to 45 percent trans fat. The food manufacturing firms use Partially Hydrogenated Oil for preserving food, increasing taste, smell and longevity of different fried, roasted food items and bakery food products. Besides, when same edible oil is used several times at high temperature in frying and roasting food trans fat is formed in low dose in those food items."
Dr Sheikh Mahbubus Sobhan said, "Trans fat increases low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol or bad cholesterol in blood and cuts high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol or good cholesterol."
The risk of heart disease increases by 21 percent and risk of death from heart disease rises by 28 percent because of trans fat, said the speakers at the workshop.
The number of death caused by heart disease is alarmingly increasing world-wide. As per the advice of the World Health Organization (WHO) the ideal amount of daily trans fat intake by a person should be less than one percent of the total food energy. This means in a daily 2,000 calorie diet the amount of trans fat should be less than 2.2 gram.
There is no specific information about how much trans fat a person in Bangladesh takes on an average. However, the National Heart Foundation Hospital & Research Institute and the Institute for Nutrition and Food Science of Dhaka University conducted a joint research on the trans fat situation in Bangladesh. The research findings will be published on November 26.
However, in an international research in 2015, five to 31 percent trans fat was found in 10 samples of biscuits collected from different places in Dhaka. This is several times higher than the permissible amount recommended by the WHO.
Muhammad Ruhul Quddus, country coordinator of Global Health Advocacy Incubator Bangladesh, said considering the damage caused by trans fat the WHO has set a world target of bringing down the amount of trans fat consumption to below 2 percent by the year 2023. Bangladesh will also have to work to attain that goal, he added.