Should Trans Fat Be Banned in India?


Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of mortality and disability in India. Poor dietary habits, in particular high intake of trans fatty acid, are a major preventable cause of CVD. While WHO recommends TFA consumption <1% of energy, some studies show that TFA intake in several states of India exceeds 1%. Thus, reducing TFA intake is clearly a public health priority. Recently, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has proposed a regulation to fix the level of trans fatty acids in partially hydrogenated vegetable oils at 10% and reduce that to 5% in 3 years. However, this legislation has not been adopted yet. Key stakeholders on tans fat ban in India include 1) Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI); 2) Ministry of Health Family Welfare (MHFW); 3)Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI); 4) Centre for Chronic Disease Control (CCDC); and 5) Indian Vanaspati Producers’ Association (IVPA).  Given the high support of the PHFI and CCDC, medium support FSSAI and MHFW, and medium opposition of the IVPA the law is expected to be passed in the next few months ; however, the Industry opposition may result in ineffective implementation of the lawImage


  1. Food Safety and Standards Authority of India: 
  2. Ministry of Health & Family Welfare-Government of India: 
  3. Public Health Foundation of India: 
  4. Centre for Chronic Disease Control: 
  5. Indian Vanaspati Producers’ Association:

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2 Responses to “Should Trans Fat Be Banned in India?”

  1. likobayashi Says:

    This was a very interesting post, because I had no idea any country was planning to (and possibly able to) ban a food product like trans fats! I know certain counties (i.e. New York City, in the US have passed trans fat bans, but a nationwide ban would be pretty amazing in America’s current health climate. I saw you mentioned “Industry opposition may result in ineffective implementation of the law” – have there been any specific suggested actions or any actions the industry has threatened to take? How do you think the industry might oppose and therefore cause the trans fat ban to be ineffective? Are there many other bans like this in India, or is the trans fat ban the first of its kind? I wonder if there are lessons the US or other countries can take from this, or if the governmental structure is too different, therefore rendering this impossible (not just implausible). Thanks for the very interesting topic!

  2. vgundareddy Says:

    A scenario where political will, industry profits and affordability on part of the public will shape the policy here. India like many developing countries have policies that are heavily influenced by the industry. Here in the question is two fold .. can we have an effective policy to begin with and then how well are we going to implement this policy. Decreasing trans fat nation wide is an excellent initiative but I agree with Likobayashi that industry opposition would be high. Then comes the question will there be popular support especially in a country like India were in Vanaspati ( lard) is a cheaper alternative to refined oil and price increase to meet regulations might not be appreciated. Here in health education at grass roots about transfat will be of great value to get popular support. Next comes issues with implementation. It might be easy to regulate the larger nation wide companies that can afford to make changes to their system to regulate transfat. Question comes in when we talk about the smaller producers who are mostly not registered and are restricted to local areas. The policy once implemented needs to provide a way for these small producers to measure transfat in their products and also get funding for increasing their knowledge and upgrading their equipment to decrease transfat.
    Not an easy thing to do in a country of 1.2 Billion none the less first step in the right direction.

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