The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) on Friday launched a new mass media campaign calling for the elimination of industrially produced trans fat in the food supply.

Called “Heart Attack Rewind”, the 30 second public service announcement (PSA) - the first mass media campaign of its kind – will support FSSAI’s global target of eliminating trans fat in India by the year 2022, a year ahead of the global target by the World Health Organization (WHO) for complete elimination of trans fat, a statement said here.

Globally, trans fat intake leads to more than 500,000 deaths of people from cardiovascular disease every year. Trans fat are made by adding hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid, and to increase the shelf life of foods. Trans fat are largely present in Vanaspati, margarine and bakery shortenings, and can be found in baked and fried foods.

“FSSAI is committed to reducing the industrially produced trans fatty acids to less than 2% by the year 2022 in a phased manner. This is in line with our objective to get Freedom from ‘Trans Fat: India@75.’ I am hopeful that this media campaign will educate consumers about the harmful effects and its link to cardiovascular diseases,” Pawan Agarwal, FSSAI CEO, said

“Heart Attack Rewind” warns citizens about the health hazards of consuming trans fat and offers strategies to avoid them through healthier alternatives.

In May 2018, WHO launched a comprehensive plan to eliminate industrially-produced trans fat from the global food supply by 2023. REPLACE provides a roadmap about how countries can remove and replace all trans fat from their food supplies with the intention to eradicate it from the globe.

FSSAI’s plan to lower the levels of trans fat in India’s food supply from the present <5 per cent to <2 per cent

“Heart Attack Rewind” will be broadcast in 17 languages for a period of four weeks on major digital platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Hotstar, and Voot. Additionally, the campaign will also be placed on radio channels and outdoor hoardings in Delhi/NCR. A corresponding social media campaign will also highlight the harmful effects of trans fat on people’s health.