World Food Safety Day

World Food Safety Day

World Food Safety Day – June 07, 2020

The second World Food Safety Day (WFSD) will be celebrated on 7th June, 2020 to draw attention and inspire action to help prevent, detect and manage foodborne risks, contributing to food security, human health, economic prosperity, agriculture, market access, tourism and sustainable development.

Theme  of  World Food safety Day 2020 – ‘Food safety, everyone’s business’

Food safety is a shared responsibility between governments, producers and consumers.  Everybody has a role to play from farm to table to ensure the food we consume is safe and will not cause damages to our health.

Role of trans fat and food safety

On this World Food Safety Day, we must remember that it is not only important to eat hygienic food but it is also important eat nutritious food like trans fat free food.  Trans fats, which are unsaturated fatty acids, are industrially produced fats which is partially hydrogenated oil. Because of its chemical properties it is difficult for us to metabolize and therefore unsafe. WHO figures show that trans fat accounts for over half a million death every year globally and in India it is responsible for the death of over 75000 death annually which is highest in the world. Trans fat consumption also leads to increase in low density lipoprotein (LDL) or bad cholesterol and decrease in high density lipoprotein (HDL) or good cholesterol levels in our body which is turn is responsible for non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

Workshop on Trans Fats with Government School Teachers in Mayur Vihar

Workshop on Trans Fats with Government School Teachers in Mayur Vihar

Workshop on Tans Fats with Government School Teachers in Mayur Vihar

Consumer VOICE, a leading consumer organisation working for the protection of consumer issues, is campaigning at different levels for the elimination of trans fats from food in India. As part of this campaign, Consumer VOICE reached out to Government Co-education School, in Mayur Vihar Phase I,  Delhi to sensitise school teachers on the harmful effects of trans fats.

Mr Paramjeet Singh, Director – Research, along with Hemant Upadhyay, Technical Head, interacted with the Head of the School, Mr Amit Kumar on this issue. Later on Mr Paramjeet Singh gave a presentation which was attended by 42 school teachers and other staff members highlighting the importance of avoiding trans fat in foods. He also pointed out that it is important for all to understand the adverse effects of consuming trans fat laden foods especially during Diwali as the consumption of sweets and savouries increase during festival times. The presentation also enlightened the teachers and staff on how to read the nutrition label and understand the permissible quantity of trans fats label in packaged items.

Mr Paramjeet also explained about the amount of fat a body requires and its usefulness. He elaborated the difference between natural trans fats found in food items such as milk and meat items are not harmful and that of artificial transfats generally found in Vanaspati oil which are harmful and should not be consumed.  Teachers were also made aware about how Transfats are responsible of Non- Communicable Diseases and Cardio Vascular Diseases.

Mr Paramjeet Singh also highlighted the importance of campaign and various activities undertaken by Consumer Voice in order to sensitize other stakeholders such as media, regulators, Industry and Health specialists. At end of the program teachers were shown various IEC materials which can be used for generating awareness among their students. All the IEC materials, which included posters will be displayed at important places in the school and pamphlets and stickers to be distributed in the classrooms, were handed over to the Vice Principle of the schools.

Student Workshop on Trans Fat on World Food Day

Student Workshop on Trans Fat on World Food Day

Student Workshop on Trans Fat on World Food Day

On the occasion of World Food Day, 16th Oct 2019, Consumer VOICE sensitized the students of Soami Nagar Model School, New Delhi on trans fat in food and why they should avoid it for a healthy life.

Ms.Rinki Sharma, Head, Projects Consumer VOICE, interacted with students of the school and educated students on trans fat, foods containing trans fat and why they are harmful for our health. Various examples were given to students about the harmful effects of trans fatty foods and types of food in which trans fat is found. They were also explained on the two different types of trans fat – natural and artificial. Natural trans fat which is found naturally in some foods like whole milk is not harmful but artificial trans fat which is also known as hydrogenated oil is known to increase the risk of heart problems.

School going children are easily attracted towards food containing trans fat. Considering the need to sensitize the student community, Consumer VOICE took an initiative and organised the first workshop on World Food Day. Future workshops with students community are also planned.

Special posters were made containing information about trans fat , why it is bad and how to avoid trans fat. These posters were handed over to the school authorities to put them in the school for wider visibility.

Students also took a pledge to adopt healthy food and avoid trans fat laden food.

Media Dialogue on Hypertension Management and Elimination of Trans Fatty Acid in Telangana

Media Dialogue on Hypertension Management and Elimination of Trans Fatty Acid in Telangana

Media Dialogue on Hypertension Management and Elimination of Trans Fatty Acid in Telangana

Consumer VOICE along with MD NICHE organised a workshop in Hotel Hyatt, Hyderabad on 25th September, 2019 to sensitize the media in Telangana on managing Hypertension and Cardiovascular Diseases. The workshop also highlighted the importance and the role of Telangana government in regulating and eliminating trans fats from food items.

While delivering the keynote address, Smt Shanti Kumari, Principal Secretary (Health, Family Welfare) and Food Safety Commissioner, highlighted the three pronged strategy adopted by the state government. It included early screening of Hypertension among the masses through the outreach program and then followed by dispensation of secondary and tertiary medical care. The workshop was also addressed by Dr K Shankar, Director, Food Safety, Telangana and Dr Gangadhar Taduri, at NIMS Hyderabad & Technical Advisor to Minister of Health, Telangana. Both made informative presentations highlighting the efforts of state government on regulating trans fats, which has become a silent killer all over the world.

The technical session was addressed by Dr K. Sarat Chandra and Dr (Col) Sitaram, senior cardiologists in Hyderabad and nutrition experts Dr. Kamala Krishnaswamy Ex Director NIN and Dr Eram S Rao, University of Delhi. They highlighted the rising number of deaths due to Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in India which has increased from 37% in 1999 to 61% in 2016. Over 77,000 deaths annually occur due to trans fat consumption. Consumption of trans fat should be the major cause of concern for Indian policy makers coming from Health and food sector. The workshop also highlighted possible solutions for industries to replace trans fatty acids from the Indian market. The noted speakers also spoke about the role of changing lifestyle and including physical activities in our daily routine and changing our food habits for reducing the burden of NCDs such as Hypertension and Cardio Vascular Diseases (CVDs).

Run for a healthy Heart – An event to sensitise people on trans fat

Run for a healthy Heart – An event to sensitise people on trans fat

Run for a healthy Heart – An event to sensitise people on trans fat

Consumer VOICE organised an event to sensitize people about trans fat food and its harmful effects on health at Nehru Park, New Delhi on 22nd of September, 2019. Fitness freak community especially Delhi Runners Group (DRG) and Tubanator Cyclist Group (TCG) supported the campaign and urged people to go trans fat free. The theme of the event was “Run for a healthy heart.”Globally, trans fat intake results in more than 500,000 deaths of people from cardiovascular disease every year. Trans fat is also a reason for increased risk of cardiovascular diseases which is the biggest cause of death around the world. In India, hypertension and cardiovascular diseases are the most important risk factors for chronic disease burden Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) have now become the leading cause of mortality in India.

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