Food regulator FSSAI on Friday launched a mass media campaign to educate people about the bad effects of industrially produced trans fat.
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) said trans fat intake leads to more than 500,000 deaths from cardiovascular disease every year globally.
Trans fats are made by adding hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid and increase the shelf life of foods. Trans fats are largely present in vanaspati, margarine and bakery shortenings, and can be found in baked and fried foods.
Entitled 'Heart Attack Rewind', the 30-second public service announcement (PSA) will support FSSAI's campaign against trans fat.
"FSSAI is committed to reducing the industrially produced trans fatty acids to less than 2 per cent by the year 2022 in a phased manner. This is in line with our objective to get Freedom from 'Trans Fat: India@75," FSSAI's CEO Pawan Agarwal said in a statement.
He hoped that this media campaign will educate consumers about the harmful effects and its link to cardiovascular diseases.
The campaign warns citizens about the health hazards of consuming trans fat and offers strategies to avoid them through healthier alternatives. The campaign was developed by experts at Vital Strategies.
"Trans fats have no known health benefits, and put Indians at risk for cardiovascular disease and other health issues," Nandita Murukutla from Vital Strategies said.
In May 2018, WHO launched a comprehensive plan to eliminate industrially-produced trans fat from the global food supply by 2023.
REPLACE provides a roadmap about how countries can remove and replace all trans fat from their food supplies with the intention to eradicate it from the globe.
FSSAI's plan to lower the levels of trans fat in India's food supply was supported by a pledge that the vanaspati manufacturers, food companies, bakery associations and others signed earlier this year.
The campaign would be broadcast in 17 languages for a period of four weeks on major digital platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Hotstar and Voot. Additionally, the campaign will also be placed on radio channels and outdoor hoardings in Delhi/NCR, the statement said.
(With inputs from agencies.)