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Dhaka dalda contains 2% more trans-fat than WHO recommendation

Staff Correspondent
19 Sep 2021 00:00:00 | Update: 19 Sep 2021 02:15:01
Dhaka dalda contains 2% more trans-fat than WHO recommendation

Researchers have found 92 per cent of sampled dalda from Dhaka contains more than 2 per cent trans- fat (trans fatty acid) which exceeds recommendations by the WHO.

The information was revealed at a workshop titled ‘Transfat Limiting Regulations: Progress and Way Forward’ held in the capital’s Bangladesh Medical Association (BMA) Bhaban on Saturday.

Experts at a workshop urged the government to finalise the regulations on limiting the use of trans-fat to two per cent to protect people from severe health risks.

The intake of food prepared with high levels of industrially produced trans-fat causes heart disease that claims the lives of almost half a million people all over the world, they said.

The workshop was organized by PROGGA (Knowledge for Progress) in association with Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI).

Bangladesh ranks among 15 countries with the highest burden of deaths from coronary heart diseases due to trans-fat intake, according to a World Health Organization (WHO) report.

Industrial trans-fat is a toxic food element that causes increased risks of premature death from heart diseases, said Abu Ahmed Shamim, associate scientist of James P Grant School of Public Health at BRAC University,

“Dalda or bonospoti ghee and various foods made from it as well as fast food and bakery products contain trans-fat,” he added.

Dr Sohel Reza Chowdhury, professor at the Department of Epidemiology and Research of the National Heart Foundation Hospital and Research Institute, said, the 2 per cent excessive trans-fat (trans fatty acid) in Dhaka’s dalda exceeds recommendations by the WHO. It is very alarming.”

WHO has set the target to eliminate industrially produced trans-fat from the global food supply chain by 2023 and with that target in mind, the Bangladesh Food Safety Authority (BFSA) is working to promulgate the “Limiting Trans Fatty Acids in Foodstuffs Regulations, 2021”.

Mentioning the progress of the finalization process of the regulations, Member of the BFSA Monzur Morshed Ahmed said, “The Ministry of Food has already sent the regulations to the Ministry of Law for vetting in order to finalize it. We have high hopes that it will be finalized very soon.”

Bangladesh Country Lead of GHAI Muhammad Ruhul Quddus said the economic impact of eliminating trans-fat is immense. The export market of our processed foods is increasing day by day.

“Unless we produce trans-fat free food products, we will lose the international market for which our country will incur economic losses,” Quddus warned.

It will also increase risks of trans-fat-induced heart diseases and increase expenditure on health care services,” he added.

Md Hasan Shahriar, team leader of Trans Fat Elimination Project and Mahmud Al Islam Shihab, project coordinator presented the keynote speech at the workshop.