Department of Health Punjab supports “Trans fat free Diwali” campaign – Dr Manjit Singh, DHS
Chandigarh, October 26
Dr Manjit Singh, Director, Health and Family Welfare, Punjab extended his support to “Trans fat free Diwali campaign” initiated by the Department of Community Medicine and School of Public Health. The exclusive campaign aims at creating awareness among the policy makers, producers, suppliers, and general public about the negative health impact of trans fats. The large-scale awareness campaign is being supported by Strategic Institute for Public Health and Education Research (SIPHER) and Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI).
Lauding the campaign Dr Manjit Singh said, “I would like to appreciate Department of Community Medicine, SIPHER and GHAI for this positive initiative that would encourage people across the state of Punjab to become healthier. During the COVID pandemic, it was noted that most of the deaths that occurred in Punjab were due to co morbidities, so such initiatives would definitely encourage people to become more aware about their health”. He further urged people across Punjab to eliminate the intake of high trans fats in the form of sweets, fried snacks, frozen desserts and bakery products etc. from their diet.
Dr Sonu Goel, Professor, Department of Community Medicine and School of Public Health, PGI, Chandigarh elaborated that, in India, between 60,000 – 75,000 deaths annually are attributed to trans-fat consumption. The state of Punjab, with a high prevalence of heart disease and obesity, is at a greater risk due to high levels of Trans fatty Acids (TFA) consumption. Keeping the alarming figures in mind, we had multiple consultations with bureaucrats and technocrats to chalk out a plan to generate awareness about the impact of TFAs on our health. With the campaign, we will also be promoting the replacement of industrially-produced trans fats with healthier cooking media.
He added that, PGI Chandigarh has approached different schools and colleges for slogan writing and taking pledge against the consumption of trans fats to create awareness on ill-effects of trans-fats among the youngsters and general public. The campaign will also run on the social media handles of PGI with the hashtags #TransfatfreeDiwali, #TransfatfreePunjab; and #HappyDiwaliHealthyDiwali. Different challenges and competitions will be posted daily on the social media to effectively interact with the audiences across the globe.
Millions of people will die or suffer from heart diseases if industrially produced trans fats are not eliminated from foods globally. SIPHER and GHAI are privileged to provide technical support to PGI Chandigarh for generating awareness on this key issue,” said Dr Rakesh Gupta, President, SIPHER
Dr Om Prakash Bera, Country Coordinator, GHAI said, “It is indispensable for every consumer to check the label on every edible oils/fats. People need to avoid buying oils/fats that contain more than 5% of trans fats per 2000 calories diet. He further added that for mass dissemination PGI has partnered with Radio Mirchi to broadcast our message throughout the tri city.”