Understanding the complexities of prevalence of trans fat and its control in food supply in Pakistan

Tarar, O. M., Ahmed, K. M., Nishtar, N. A., Achakzai, A. B. K., Gulzar, Y., Delles, C. and Al-Jawaldeh, A. (2020) Understanding the complexities of prevalence of trans fat and its control in food supply in Pakistan. Journal of Clinical Hypertension, 22(8), pp. 1338-1346. (doi: 10.1111/jch.13943) (PMID:32687252)

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Abstract

Pakistan is among the nations with a high intake of trans‐fatty acids (TFAs), a major dietary risk factor of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). Efforts are underway in the country to eliminate industrially produced TFAs from the food supply in keeping with the priority targets of the World Health Organization (WHO) for 2019‐2023. We reviewed the TFA content reported in industrially produced foods and discuss the regulatory landscape for TFAs, to facilitate the required policy changes in Pakistan and ultimately eliminate the TFA burden from industrial food products. The study components include review of published research and product labels as well as review of prevailing food regulations for TFA‐related information. A set of recommendations was also prepared to eliminate TFAs from Pakistan after national consultation workshops conducted in year 2019. Vanaspati ghee (partially hydrogenated vegetable oil), bakery shortening, hard margarines, and fat spreads are identified as the major sources of TFAs. Federal and provincial food authorities have recently established the limits for TFAs in few products; however, the TFA regulations are insufficient and not in line with global best practices. This study informs a comprehensive national strategy for TFA elimination based on knowledge of TFA prevalence associated regulatory control. We recommend to (1) promote actions toward replacement of traditional vanaspati ghee/bakery fats with healthier alternatives; (2) develop and implement best regulatory practices in line with WHO recommendations; and (3) amend food labeling laws so that clear information will be provided to inform consumers healthy food choices.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This study was funded by WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean, WHO Country Office—Pakistan, Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination, Pakistan, and Resolve to Save Lives—an initiative of Vital Strategies. Resolve to Save Lives is funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Gates Philanthropy Partners, which is funded with support from the Chan Zuckerberg Foundation.
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Delles, Professor Christian
Authors: Tarar, O. M., Ahmed, K. M., Nishtar, N. A., Achakzai, A. B. K., Gulzar, Y., Delles, C., and Al-Jawaldeh, A.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences
Journal Name:Journal of Clinical Hypertension
Publisher:Wiley
ISSN:1524-6175
ISSN (Online):1751-7176
Published Online:20 July 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 Wiley Periodicals LLC
First Published:First published in Journal of Clinical Hypertension 22(8): 1338-1346
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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