२०७९ साल जेठ ५ गते बिहीबार

तपाईँ सुन्दै हुनुहुन्छः

Government’s agenda: elimination of trans-fat in food items

Radio Nepal 16 Jan, 2022 11:24 am

Kathmandu: A meeting on Trans-fat elimination in food items was organized by the Nepal Heart Foundation (NHF) on Friday, 14 January 2022 in Kathmandu.

NHF has been conducting the Transfat Elimination Advocacy project since September 2021. The project is supported by Vital Strategies, USA as part of their Resolve To Save Lives initiative.

As the project is nearing the end, NHF is holding meetings with key stakeholders related to the issue, including various agencies of the government of Nepal and WHO-Nepal, to share the findings to date as well as to seek their input in the matter.

The representative from the Ministry of Health and Population, Dr Guna Nidhi Sharma mentioned during the meeting that a policy to control industrial trans-fat to less than 2% in food items is proposed in the forthcoming policy as a part of the Second Multispectral Non-Communicable Disease Action Plan. According to Dr Lonim Dixit from the WHO country office, a target is set by WHO to achieve trans-fat elimination in food items to less than 2% by the year 2023.

The Director-General of the Department of Food Technology and Quality Control, Dr Matina Joshi expressed her Department’s willingness to implement the initiatives of the government, for which they will need further enhancement of technical skill and laboratory equipment support and backed by the Government’s authoritative legal provisions.

The Director-General of the Department of Commerce, Supply and Consumer Protection Management, Chairman of the National Health Research Council, and President of the Cardiac Society of Nepal also expressed their commitment to support achieving the target of the Government in this regard.

Ministry of Law and Justice was supportive of the proposal; and President of the Health Journalist Forum, Ram Prasad Neupane assured to use all his means to take this message of food safety to the wider public to save their lives and healthy living. Public health activist, Dr Aruna Upreti was specific on developing a strategy to reach the people with proper information and educating them to cook and consume healthy food. She emphatically pointed out the need to generate awareness of the harmful effects of trans fat in food items that are popular among youth and adults alike.

Honourable Member of the National Planning Commission, Dr Uma Shanker Prasad highlighted the need to strengthen and empower existing institutions to meaningfully implement the Government agenda in this regard. The Director of Trans Fat Project, Dr Prem Raj Baidya, and Dr Prakash Raj Regmi also highlighted the activities carried out by the Nepal Heart Foundation in advocating for the acceleration of the best practice trans-fat elimination policy in Nepal.

The rapid growth in Non-Communicable Diseases(NCD), coupled with growing evidence on an association between trans-fat and NCDs; WHO’s Review, Promote Legislate, Assess, Create, and Enforce (REPLACE) Strategy has targeted to eliminate industrially-produced trans-fat (ITF) throughout the world by 2023. WHO states that eliminating ITF and replacing it with healthier oils could save 500,000 lives annually.

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