Dr Sohel Reza Chowdhury, professor at the Department of Epidemiology and Research, National Heart Foundation Hospital and Research Institute, said that trans-fat-induced heart diseases kill around 6,000 people in Bangladesh each year and a significant portion among them are young people.
He said this on Thursday during a webinar held on the occasion of International Youth Day by Progga and the National Heart Foundation of Bangladesh.
Speakers at the webinar said that according to research, one in five youth in Bangladesh is posed with the risk of heart diseases due to the consumption of excessive levels of trans fat in food.
They warned that without finalising trans-fat limiting regulation in the country, trans-fat induced heart disease will continue to rise and urged the government to take steps to decrease the consumption of trans-fat to protect the heart health of these vulnerable populations.
Trans Fatty Acid (TFA) or trans-fat is a food element harmful to health. Dalda or bonospoti ghee, as well as the foods prepared with it, fast food, and bakery items, contain trans-fat.
Vice-president of the Consumers' Association of Bangladesh (Cab) SM Nazer Hossain, who was present at the webinar, said that Bangladesh Food Safety Authority is working to finalise the regulation titled "Limiting Trans Fatty Acids in Foodstuffs regulations 2021" but there is still a long way to go before it can be finalised.
General Secretary of Bangladesh Food and Nutrition Association (Bafna) Bipul Biswas Apon said that almost half the population of Bangladesh is youth. Unless trans-fat free food is ensured, the young generation cannot be protected from risks of heart diseases.
Coordinator of Trans Fat Project at National Heart Foundation of Bangladesh Dr Sheikh Mohammad Mahbubus Sobhan and Coordinator of Trans Fat Elimination Project at Progga Mahmud Al Islam Shihab presented the keynote address at the webinar.
Along with the young participants from all over the country, representatives of various organizations including Muhammad Ruhul Quddus from the Global Health Advocacy Incubator (Ghai) and ABM Zubair from Progga were present at the webinar.