Trans Fat Free Children – Test analysis of canteen food

Trans Fat Free Children – Test analysis of canteen food

Consumer VOICE took initiative to spread awareness about perils of Trans Fat with the overall objective to make Trans Fat Free Generation through its project Trans Fat Free Children besides creating awareness among consumers to limit the consumption of foods containing high levels of fat, sugar and salt ( HSSF ). Unfortunately, consumption of unhealthy foods is rapidly rising. The ultra-processed and fried foods besides sugary drinks are directly related to diabetes, obesity, cancers, heart diseases, high BP etc. This is specially attracting children who are falling prey to lifestyle diseases at an early age.

We are supporting Eat Right Campaign of the Food Safety Authority of India (FSSAI) so that citizens can make right food choices and opt for healthier option. Please find link here:

Also FSSAI has now brought in Regulation to control unhealthy foods sales and advertising around schools in order to curb the consumption of unhealthy foods in and around school premises after prolonged advocacy. Please find link here:'.pdf

Reduced intake of salt, sugar, saturated fat & trans fat is need of the hour

SALT: Salt is the main source of sodium in our diet. WHO SEARO recommended limit of 12gms per 100 gms a day. Any excess might attract hypertensive illnesses

SUGAR: Sugar provides only calories and no other nutrient to our body. WHO recommends 250mg per 100 gms of foods. High intake of sugar is a risk factor for obesity and diabetes. FAT: Excess of saturated fat intake is a risk factor for obesity and diseases like cardiovascular ailments etc

Trans Fats : Chemical Trans fats are considered very harmful for all non-communicable diseases. Zero chemical trans fats is recommended by WHO

What is Trans Fat ?

There are two types of trans fats found in foods. Naturally formed trans-fats are found in animal products, including high-fat meat, lamb and dairy foods. While trans fats is a form of unsaturated fat, trans fat is also produced when vegetable oils are chemically altered by partial hydrogenation to stay solid at room temperature, giving them a much longer shelf life. Food manufacturers use these hydrogenated oils/vanaspati to extend shelf life, add texture, taste and increase stability.

Why are they harmful?

1) Increase the risk of heart attack, heart diseases and diabetes
2) Raise LDL  (Bad Cholesterol )and lower HDL (Good  Cholesterol )
3) May reduce serotonin production in the brain affecting mental health

We did testing through NABL accredited Laboratory in New Delhi of various food items which are commonly available in the school canteens to test – SALT, SUGAR, SATURATED FAT AND TRANS FAT.


Survey – Our team members went to meet staff of various canteens to know what the different items available in the school canteens are before buying the products in five zones –South ,East ,West ,Central and North zone of Delhi. Based on the feedback we made list of products and their most selling brands which are sold/consumed by school going children and available in school canteens.

Approach to Laboratories – We approached laboratories and invited quotation to test the parameters –Sodium (salt ),Sugar ,Saturated Fat and Trans Fat. Based on evaluation of quotation we have finalized the laboratory.
Sample Purchase and coordination with laboratory –Based on list of food items we purchased food items (packaged and non packaged) from various zones /markets and sent them for testing in the laboratory.

Testing Results analysis – After received testing results on the parameters- SALT, SUGAR, SATURATED FAT AND TRANS FAT we made the analysis report. This report is containing details

Please click here for the complete report


We shared the analysis report with state partners who supported us for organizing webinars, workshops etc with schools .We also shared the report directly with various school so that they can sensitize further to various stakeholders (students ,teachers ,parents etc) about items which are not meeting the standards .

Following categories of items were purchased and tested:

Broad Categories -8
Number of Samples Tested -36 (1 item each )
Packaged Items 32 items
Non Packaged Items -4

Categories of the Samples –

Variant 1 Glucose: ParleG, Tiger Glucose
Variant 2 Creamy: Bounce Creamy, fab Bourbon, Dark Fantasy Bourbon, BourBon, oreo
Variant 3 Cookies: Unibic choco chips, Moms Magic, Parle hide & Seek, Good Day

Variant 1- Classic salted: Lays
Variant – Flavoured -Magic masala, American style cream & onion

Variant 1-Dark Chocolate-Amul, Tobleron
Variant 2 –Milk -Amul
Variant –Fruit & Nut-Dairy Milk,Munch

4) CAKE –Chocolate Britannia Cake

Variant 1 –Orange Juice-PaperBoat
Variant 2 –Mixed Fruit Juice-Real ,PaperBoat
Variant 3 –Guava Juice –Real

6) CHHACH/LASSI Variant 
Variant 1 Plain-wink in cow
Variant 2 Tadka –Amul Masala Chach
Variant 3 –Mango-wink in cow

Variant 1 – Kesar Milk-Amul,Sofit
Variant 2 –Almond Milk –Sofit
Variant 3 –Chocolate Milk –Hershey
Variant 4 –Strawberry Milk- Hershey

Samosa ,Bread Pakora ,Burger and Patty

(Total Items purchased -123 out of which 91 items of packaged category and 32 items of non packaged category to make total samples )

Webinars and Workshops to sensitise school children on harmful effects of trans fats

Webinars and Workshops to sensitise school children on harmful effects of trans fats

Webinars and Workshops to sensitise school children on harmful effects of trans fats

Consumer VOICE in collaboration with Honcho Tech For Good Foundation organised an interactive webinar with students of Narayana Group of Schools, West Bengal on 30th October 2021.

This interactive workshop was organized to discuss various health harms of trans fatty acids and to encourage children to adopt healthy food and lifestyle. Students participated with full enthusiasm and showed keen interest in the subject matter.  Various aspects that were discussed in the webinar included foods which are trans fat free, health harms of trans fats and how to make healthier choices.

Ms.Richa Pande, columnist and health enthusiast along with Ms.Rinki Sharma, Campaign Lead, Consumer VOICE, interacted with students on the subject matter. There were many queries raised by students and staff members which were addressed by Ms.Pande. A short informative photo story was also shown to students made exclusively on the subject matter.

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Consumer VOICE along with its state partner Consumer Guild, Lucknow organised an interactive workshop (hybrid model) at  New Public Montessori School, Lucknow  on Transfat Free Children on 23rd October, 2021. 

The objective of the interactive workshop was to discuss the health harms of trans fatty acids and to encourage children to adopt healthy food and lifestyle. Around 80 students joined the workshop.

Ms.Richa Pande, columnist and health enthusiast along with Ms.Rinki Sharma, Campaign Lead and Ms.Aditi Gupta, Social Media Manager  of  Consumer VOICE interacted with the students.

Students participated with full enthusiasm and showed keen interest in the subject matter. Students were encouraged to adopt healthy lifestyle and improve food habits. Various health harms of trans fatty acids were also discussed.

 This workshop was organized in a hybrid model in which experts joined online and physical interaction was done by Shri Abhishek Srivastava and Mr. Amber of Consumer Guild the with students.


Trans Fat Free Children 

Consumer VOICE along with  Uttam School for Girls, Ghaziabad successfully organised  the interactive webinar with school children on the subject matter of trans fatty acids on 28th August 2021.The objective of the webinar was to discuss about health harms of trans fatty acids  and to encourage children to adopt healthy food and lifestyle.

Around 120 students besides school teachers, staff members and Consumer VOICE team members took part in the session conducted.

Ms.Richa Pande, columnist and health enthusiastic along with Ms.Rinki Sharma, project lead Consumer VOICE interacted with students as experts. Ms.Richa Pande gave an informative presentation to students.

It was a very informative session and we witnessed huge enthusiasm among students and they asked various queries. Various aspects such as health harms of trans fatty food items containing trans fatty acids how to make healthier choices etc were discussed.

Healthy Eating for Children

Healthy Eating for Children

Healthy Eating for Children

Healthy Eating For Children

Some fats are meant to be simply chewed and some to be digested. Though there is a negative feeling towards all types of fats but for children some amount of healthy fats are essential for growth and development.  Young kids require enough of them in their diet to help the brain and nervous system develop normally. Foods which are rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats like nuts, seeds, and fish and oils like olive are good for the overall growth of the child. 

The Good, Bad and Ugly Fats

There are three main types of fat – the good, bad and the ugly. “Good fats” have high-density lipoprotein (HDL), while the bad ones have low-density lipoprotein (LDL). Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol while helping increase your HDL (good) cholesterol. Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fat and an essential fatty acid—meaning the body needs them to function but cannot make them so they must be obtained through foods. Some of the sources of good fats include:

  • Olive
  • Sunflower
  • Peanut
  • canola 
  • avocados
  • nuts

The bad fats may raise your cholesterol and are mainly found in animal products. They are mainly solid at room temperature. They are found in chicken with the skin on, whole-fat dairy products, butter, cheese, ice cream. 

The devil of all the fats is trans fats – which is made by adding hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid, thereby increasing the shelf life of foods. 

Trans-fats can be found in the following foods:

  • Fats And Oils: Vanaspati, Bakery Shortenings and Margarine
  • Baked Foods: Biscuits, Puff, Cakes, Pastries, Cookies, Cream Rolls
  • Fried Snacks: Puri, Pakodas, Namkeens, Jalebis, Gulab Jamuns, Boondi Laddus
  • Processed And Packaged Foods: Meat Pies and Sausage Rolls

What’s all the noise for?

These trans fats are considered hazardous to our health as it increases bad (LDL) Cholesterol and reduces good (HDL) Cholesterol.  These fats play a major role in the rise of non communicable diseases or NCDs, like heart and other cardiovascular diseases, and even cancer, according to some studies. 

As the child is in his or her formative years, it is crucial that they be introduced to some healthy eating from early on. Some of the severe health harms that trans fats may lead to are:

  • Excess inflammation 
  • Many non communicable diseases, like coronary disease, arthritis, and metabolic syndrome 

Consumption of trans fat has been linked to negative changes in lipoproteins, systemic inflammation, coronary heart disease, and diabetes mellitus. Evidence of processes leading to these conditions has also been found in children. 

What is India’s stand on trans fats

As per the World Health Organisation (WHO), approximately 5.4 lakh deaths take place each year globally because of intake of industrially produced trans fatty acids. The WHO has called for the elimination of industrially-produced trans fatty acids from the global food supply by 2023.

India has unveiled regulations to limit trans fat in oils and fats, an important step for public health that will prevent thousands of deaths every year. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has announced that all edible refined oils, vanaspati, bakery shortening, margarines, vegetable fat spreads and mixed fat spreads may only contain up to 3% trans fats by January 2021 and 2% or less trans fats by January 2022. The move is the first step by FSSAI towards fulfilling its commitments made in 2018 to reduce trans-fats in both edible oils and in all foods. Within a week of capping trans fats in oil, FSSAI caps trans fats in foods. “Food products in which edible oils and fats are used as an ingredient shall not contain industrial trans fatty acids more than 2% by mass of the total oils/fats present in the product, on and from 1st January, 2022,” said the revised regulations notified recently and made public on February 5, 2021.

Some ways to keep fat intake within recommended ranges:

  • Increase concentration of fruits and vegetables in your child’s diet
  • When eating out, help kids make balanced choices that don’t include large amounts of fat. 
  • Choose healthier, unsaturated fats when preparing meals for your family
  • Pack healthier options for school lunches instead of packaged food
  • Opt for healthy snacks that are naturally free of trans fats: Mixed Nuts, Sprouts, Salads, Fruits, Yogurt
  • Do not repeatedly reheat oil or reuse the same oil for frying
  • Avoid using ‘vanaspati’ for cooking/frying.

It is never too late to start. Make a healthy eating environment at home, stay happy, exercise regularly and you will see children will make healthy eating a way of life!

Interactive Session With Children on the Harmful Effects of Trans Fats

Interactive Session With Children on the Harmful Effects of Trans Fats

Interactive Session With Children on the Harmful Effects of Trans Fats

Children are one of the most vulnerable groups in terms of consuming trans fat due to lack of awareness. They need to be sensitized about trans-fat, what to eat in a right way and how to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  Keeping the health of children on top priority, Consumer VOICE organised an interactive workshop with students of Soami Nagar Model School New Delhi on 21st December 2020  as a part of campaign activities ‘Trans Fat Free Children.’  

 The head of the institution Ms.Aarti Prasad  addressed the students on this important topic and encouraged them to adopt healthy food habits and to  avoid the trans fats laden foods .Ms.Rinki Sharma, Head- Projects, Consumer VOICE interacted with students and conducted the session.

Students participated with full enthusiasm and shared their experiences in the interaction.

Various Informative posters on the subject matter were prepared and shown to students such as what is trans fatty acids, what are different types of foods to be avoided, ill effects of trans fatty acids etc. These posters were also put on school boards after permission of the school authorities.

 Stickers with ‘No to Trans Fat’ messages were  also circulated among students to put on their school bags as a reminder to avoid trans fatty acids in the food. We witnessed great enthusiasm among students and school staff. Around 45 students of  middle and senior sections  participated in the interactive session.

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