Despite an increase in cardiovascular diseases in the rural areas during the COVID-19 pandemic, 61% of consumers in the villages in Rajasthan are unaware of the hazards of trans fats, which are responsible for heart ailments by raising the cholesterol levels. Very few consumers know about the sources of trans fats, according to a survey.
The sample survey, conducted by the Consumer Unity and Trust Society (CUTS)-International in 12 districts of the State recently, has found that the consumption of industrially produced partially hydrogenated vegetable oils had increased by 19% from its pre-lockdown level in the rural areas.
CUTS-International Director George Cheriyan said here on Monday that the survey was taken up in the backdrop of the release of World Health Organisation’s second progress report on global trans fat elimination, which had reminded India of its commitment to eliminate trans fats from food supply by 2022.
In the urban areas, 46% of the consumers were found unaware of the health harms associated with trans fats, though 21% of them had heard the term. The awareness level was a little higher when the correlation of trans fats was made with ‘Dalda’, which is a brand name of vansapati ghee, but not much of the consumers were aware of the margarine and bakery shortenings.