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A cross-sectional study to assess the awareness of the presence of trans-fat in packaged food items and their harmful effects in a metropolitan city of central India

Ruchita Banseria, Sunil Gothwal, Sanjay Dixit, Satish Saroshe.

Background: Trans-fat has been shown to be consistently associated, in an intake-dependent way, with risk of coronary heart disease, which is the main contributor to the global burden of disease.

Objectives: To assess the level of awareness about trans-fat in packaged foods among college students and to increase their awareness about trans-fats and their health hazards and to encourage students to go through the nutritional profiles of packaged food before consuming it.

Material and Methods: An educational intervention cross-sectional study was conducted upon 100 students aged 1822 years randomly selected from two colleges of Indore city. Qualitative interviews were taken from those who gave informed consent. Pre- and post-interventional questionnaire containing questions related to awareness, knowledge, and practices regarding trans-fat was used as study tool. Educational intervention was done by using pamphlets and lectures with audio visual aids. All statistical analyses were conducted in SPSS (version 20). Statistical differences were examined using a Mc-Nemar test for dichotomous data and Wilcoxon sign rank test was used for non-parametric data; p-value < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.

Result: In total, 88% subjects were aware about nutrition labels on back of packaged items. But only 13% go through them showing that only written information is not sufficient to reduce the consumption of trans-fatty products.

Conclusion: The study signifies the importance of knowledge, awareness, and consumption behavior of trans-fat among young generation which significantly improves the health of the heart of young generation.

Key words: Trans-fat, packaged food, nutrition labels, partially hydrogenated vegetable oils (PHVOs)

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