World Heart Day is being celebrated through various programmes.  In Bangladesh also this day is being celebrated with the theme 'Caring for the Heart'.


  Worldwide, approximately 18 million people die from heart disease each year.  The number of heart attacks in Bangladesh is increasing day by day.  Heart disease is seen not only in adults but also in children and adolescents due to better lifestyle, unhealthy lifestyle and ignorance.  Heart disease accounts for 17 percent of the deaths in our country due to various diseases.


  On the eve of World Heart Day, a webinar titled 'Transfat Heart Disease Risk and Actions in Bangladesh' was organized by Pragya (Knowledge for Progress) in collaboration with Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI) and National Heart Foundation of Bangladesh.  Speakers said that in recent times, the prevalence of heart attacks among youth in Bangladesh is very high, which is very worrying.  Eating trans fat is one of the major causes of heart disease.


  According to the World Health Organisation, Bangladesh is one of the 15 countries with the highest risk of dying from heart disease from trans fats.  Therefore, if transfat control regulations are not finalized immediately, the risk of transfat heart disease will continue to increase at an alarming rate.


  According to the webinar, trans fat is a harmful food item that increases the risk of heart disease and premature death.  Dalda or vegetable ghee and various foods, fast food and bakery products made from it contain trans fat.


  According to a study, 1 in 5 youth in Bangladesh is at risk of heart disease.  The World Health Organization has set a target to eliminate trans fats from the world's food supply chain by 2023 to reduce the risk of heart disease and premature death from heart disease worldwide.


  Bangladesh Food Safety Authority has drafted "Trans Fatty Acid Control Regulations on Food, 2021".  It awaits finalization at the end of the required revision.


  In the webinar, Dr. Sohail Reza Chowdhury, Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Research, National Heart Foundation, Bangladesh, said, “Eliminating trans fat in the diet will play an important role in preventing non-communicable diseases.  We are hopeful that the government will finalize the rules at the earliest.


  Pragya's executive director ABM Zubair said, “Young people tend to eat more food rich in trans fat.  If trans fats are not eliminated from the diet, there will be serious health risks to the younger generation.


  Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI) - Bangladesh Country Lead Md.