US FDA move to ban Trans Fat. Will India Follow?


In what can be termed as a major move, US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced taking steps that ban trans fat in processed food.

Trans Fats are a type of unsaturated fat, which is uncommon in nature but can be easily created artificially. Animal-based fats were once the only trans fats consumed. However, majority of trans fat consumed today is created by the processed food industry as a side effect of partially hydrogenating unsaturated plant fats (generally vegetable oils). These partially hydrogenated fats have displaced natural solid fats and liquid oils in many areas, the most notable ones being in the fast food, snack food, fried food, and baked goods industries.

In a study done by Centre for Science and Environment, it was found that a large number of food products consumed in India contain trans fat; most notable being Potato Wafers, Carbonated Drinks, Namkeen & Indian Snacks, Fast Food and Noodles.

Trans Fat are considered as a major factor for increasing the chances of coronary heart disease, obesity and infertility. FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, MD, says eliminating trans fats could prevent an additional 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 deaths from heart disease each year.

Though, India has already taken some steps in this direction, by making it mandatory for food manufacturers to declare trans fat content on the packaging, do you think India should follow FDA and ban trans fat completely from our food?

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