Earlier in August 2019, the FSSAI proposed aligning India’s regulations with global best practice that apply the 2 per cent TFA limit to all food products by January 2022

WHO launched the second progress report on global trans fats elimination 2020 at a virtual high-level event in collaboration with Resolve to Save Lives, an initiative of Vital Strategies. The report highlighted the current global, regional and national situations and progress over the past year in countries. It also discussed challenges and opportunities for future action.

Four countries (Canada, Latvia, Slovenia, United States of America) have implemented WHO-recommended best-practice policies since 2017, either by setting mandatory limits for industrially produced trans fats to 2 per cent of oils and fats in all foods or banning partially hydrogenated oils (PHO). These are part of the 15 countries that account for approximately two-thirds of the worldwide deaths linked to trans fats intake. The remaining 11 countries including India (Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Pakistan, etc) still need to take urgent action, according to WHO.

Countries such as India that have previously implemented less restrictive measures, are now updating policies to align with best practice. In December 2018, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) proposed reducing this limit to 2 per cent and eliminating industrially produced TFA in the food supply by 2022, a year ahead of the global target.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general, WHO, said, “In a time when the whole world is fighting the Covid-19 pandemic, we must make every effort to protect people’s health. That must include taking all steps possible to prevent non-communicable diseases that can make them more susceptible to the coronavirus, and cause premature death. So our goal of eliminating trans fats by 2023 must not be delayed.”

To ensure effective implementation of TFAs related regulations and policies and to get the desired health benefits out of these, periodic monitoring of TFA exposure by measuring blood levels in various population groups is essential, according to Dr Avula Laxmaiah, head, public health nutrition, ICMR, Hyderabad.

There is strong need for notifying all the pending regulations at the FSSAI level, all the states including Rajasthan, need to take serious measures to develop the trans fats testing and monitoring facilities. The oils and fats manufacturing industry, small, medium and large, also needs to use alternative fats like vegetable oils to replace the TFAs and partially hydrogenated fats.

Earlier in August 2019, the FSSAI proposed aligning India’s regulations with global best practice that apply the 2 per cent TFA limit to all food products by January 2022

WHO launched the second progress report on global trans fats elimination 2020 at a virtual high-level event in collaboration with Resolve to Save Lives, an initiative of Vital Strategies. The report highlighted the current global, regional and national situations and progress over the past year in countries. It also discussed challenges and opportunities for future action.

Four countries (Canada, Latvia, Slovenia, United States of America) have implemented WHO-recommended best-practice policies since 2017, either by setting mandatory limits for industrially produced trans fats to 2 per cent of oils and fats in all foods or banning partially hydrogenated oils (PHO). These are part of the 15 countries that account for approximately two-thirds of the worldwide deaths linked to trans fats intake. The remaining 11 countries including India (Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Pakistan, etc) still need to take urgent action, according to WHO.

Countries such as India that have previously implemented less restrictive measures, are now updating policies to align with best practice. In December 2018, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) proposed reducing this limit to 2 percent and eliminating industrially produced TFA in the food supply by 2022, a year ahead of the global target.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general, WHO, said, “In a time when the whole world is fighting the Covid-19 pandemic, we must make every effort to protect people’s health. That must include taking all steps possible to prevent non-communicable diseases that can make them more susceptible to the coronavirus, and cause premature death. So our goal of eliminating trans fats by 2023 must not be delayed.”

To ensure effective implementation of TFAs related regulations and policies and to get the desired health benefits out of these, periodic monitoring of TFA exposure by measuring blood levels in various population groups is essential, according to Dr Avula Laxmaiah, head, public health nutrition, ICMR, Hyderabad.

There is strong need for notifying all the pending regulations at the FSSAI level, all the states including Rajasthan, need to take serious measures to develop the trans fats testing and monitoring facilities. The oils and fats manufacturing industry, small, medium and large, also needs to use alternative fats like vegetable oils to replace the TFAs and partially hydrogenated fats.