Interactive Session With Children on the Harmful Effects of Trans Fats

Interactive Session With Children on the Harmful Effects of Trans Fats

INTERACTIVE SESSION WITH CHILDREN ON THE HARMFUL EFFECTS OF TRANS FATS

Children are one of the most vulnerable groups in terms of consuming trans fat due to lack of awareness. They need to be sensitized about trans-fat, what to eat in a right way and how to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  Keeping the health of children on top priority, Consumer VOICE organised an interactive workshop with students of Soami Nagar Model School New Delhi on 21st December 2020  as a part of campaign activities ‘Trans Fat Free Children.’  

 The head of the institution Ms.Aarti Prasad  addressed the students on this important topic and encouraged them to adopt healthy food habits and to  avoid the trans fats laden foods .Ms.Rinki Sharma, Head- Projects, Consumer VOICE interacted with students and conducted the session.

Students participated with full enthusiasm and shared their experiences in the interaction.

Various Informative posters on the subject matter were prepared and shown to students such as what is trans fatty acids, what are different types of foods to be avoided, ill effects of trans fatty acids etc. These posters were also put on school boards after permission of the school authorities.

 Stickers with ‘No to Trans Fat’ messages were  also circulated among students to put on their school bags as a reminder to avoid trans fatty acids in the food. We witnessed great enthusiasm among students and school staff. Around 45 students of  middle and senior sections  participated in the interactive session.

Trans fat free children

Trans fat free children

Trans fat free children

GLOBALLY…

  • Consumption of industrially produced trans fats are estimated to cause around 500,000 deaths per year due to coronary heart disease
  • Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), commonly referred to as heart disease or stroke, are the number 1 cause of death around the world
  • 11 out of 15 countries with the most coronary heart disease deaths due to trans fats
  • WHO currently attributes one-third of all global deaths (15.3 million) to CVD, with developing countries, low-income and middle-income countries
  • 1 in 3 deaths globally are as result of CVD, yet the majority of premature heart disease and stroke is preventable

IN INDIA…

  • Non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including CVDs, are estimated to account for 60% of total adult deaths in India
  • CVDs account for over a quarter (26%) of these deaths

CHILDREN AND TRANS FATTY ACIDS – THE CONNECTION

Trans fatty acids (TFA) are found in many ready-made foods at grocery stores and in many items at fast-food restaurants. Vegetable shortenings and margarine are composed primarily of  hydrogenated oils. Thus, any food product that contains shortening or margarine is likely to contain TFA , including cookies, crackers, snack bars, cereals, fried foods, and other baked goods.

Children are equally vulnerable in terms of consuming trans fats as the food items like fried foods and cookies are largely considered the ‘go to’ food for children. Although the adverse effects of trans fats are not seen until adult life, yet its manifestations begin from early childhood. Human studies have confirmed that trans fatty acids are transported across the placenta and that the percentages of trans fatty acids in maternal and infant plasma lipid profiles are similar. Even as toddlers, they are exposed to trans fatty acids through different snacks. Food habits in children are formed by the age of 5-6 years and by the time they reach their teens, they already are into a viscous cycle of unhealthy eating. But early intervention can prevent them from consuming foods rich in trans fats.

In India, school going children are also exposed to a lot of trans fat foods especially in school canteens in the form of fried foods, bhujia, namkeenand sweets.  Many of these foods  are made in vanaspati so that they can be preserved for long. Doctors also said that an interesting study by AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences) showed only 13 per cent of educated individuals pay any attention to what they are consuming, and the number of heart bypass surgeries among youth has also increased.  So it is time, that we need to sensitise the youth and adults of tomorrow on the harmful effects of trans fats and how to choose tour food more wisely.

“Making food trans fat-free, saves lives and saves money, and, by preventing heart attacks, reduces the burden on health care facilities, said Dr Tom Frieden, President and CEO of Resolve to Save Lives.

In order to minimise use of trans fats among school children, the Indian Food Regulator, FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India), recently announced a ban on the sale and advertisement of junk food in and around 50 meters of school premises.  However, soon after passing the order, the regulations on junk food in school canteens watered down as the idea of classifying food in yellow, red and green categories has been dropped by the government.  But this should not stop us, the civil society in creating awareness among school children and other stakeholders on the harmful effects of trans fats.

OBJECTIVES

  •  protect and sensitise the children on the harmful effects of trans fat
  • To inculcate the habit of healthy eating among school going children in India
  • To ensure that they become torch bearers for others in their schools and community
  • To create awareness on how to choose foods and what to eat in their growing years

STRATEGY

  • School Children will be sensitised through this program and will become torch bearers of healthy eating and share the knowledge further with peers and other stakeholders.
  • Webinars will be organised for spreading the message on healthy eating where experts through interactive session will propagate the idea on healthy eating
  • Short videos, educational infographics, creation of meme for students about transfats will be shared with students in online mode
  • Interactive materials will also be shared on various digital platforms to be accessed by all the stakeholders
  • Online workshops will be organised in schools with experts to help children understand the harmful effects of trans fats and generate awareness among various stakeholders like teachers, parents and staff.
  • Dissemination of information and knowledge sharing will be done through various digital platforms and even IEC kits.

EXPECTED OUTCOMES

  • Students will be sensitised on the ill-effects of trans fats and how it impacts their food habits and mental health.
  • Short videos on healthy eating will have a greater impact on the young minds
  • Teacher and parents will be contributing towards trans fat free products by motivating students to go for healthier choices.
  • An online pledge will be taken by students to avoid trans fat free food

ARTICLES ON TRANS FAT

CAMPAIGN UPDATE

National Consumer Day 2020 – Time for consumers to awake and arise

National Consumer Day 2020 – Time for consumers to awake and arise

National Consumer Day 2020 – Time for consumers to awake and arise

BY ASHIM SANYAL, COO CONSUMER VOICE

Every year 24th December is observed as National Consumer Day in India with a specific theme. On this day the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 had received the assent of the President.

The enactment of this Act is considered as a historic milestone in the consumer movement in the country.

This day provides an opportunity for individuals to highlight the importance of the consumer movement and the need to make every consumer aware of their rights and responsibilities.

This year the theme of National Consumer Day isThe Sustainable Consumer’We need drastic action to address the global crises of climate change and biodiversity loss. The decade of the 2020s is our last chance to limit global warming since pre-industrial times, in line with the Paris Agreement and to reverse the current trend of wide-scale biodiversity loss.The consumer movement should highlight the lifestyle changes consumers can make to play their part, and what governments and businesses need to do to make sustainability the easy choice for consumers.

The Consumer Protection Act 2019 is in force from 20th July 2020. The Act will empower consumers and help them in protecting their rights through its various notified rules and provisions like Consumer Protection Councils, Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissions, Mediation, Product Liability and punishment for manufacture or sale of products containing adulterant / spurious goods.

The Act includes establishment of the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) to promote, protect and enforce the rights of consumers.  The CCPA will be empowered to conduct investigations into violations of consumer rights and institute complaints / prosecution, order recall of unsafe goods and services, order discontinuance of unfair trade practices and misleading advertisements, impose penalties on manufacturers/endorsers/publishers of misleading advertisements.

Under this act every e-commerce entity is required to provide information relating to return, refund, exchange, warranty and guarantee, delivery and shipment, modes of payment, grievance redressal mechanism, payment methods, security of payment methods, charge-back options, etc. including country of origin which are necessary for enabling the consumer to make an informed decision at the pre-purchase stage on its platform.  The e-commerce platforms also need to acknowledge the receipt of any consumer complaint within forty-eight hours and redress the complaint within one month from the date of receipt under this Act.

The Act introduces the concept of product liability and brings within its scope, the product manufacturer, product service provider and product seller, for any claim for compensation.

The Act provides for simplifying the consumer dispute adjudication process in the consumer commissions, which include, among others,  empowerment of the State and District Commissions to review their own orders, enabling a consumer to file complaints electronically and file complaints in consumer Commissions that have jurisdiction over the place of his residence, videoconferencing for hearing and deemed admissibility of complaints if the question of admissibility is not decided within the specified period of 21 days.

An Alternate Dispute Resolution mechanism of mediation has been provided in the new Act. This will simplify the adjudication process.  A complaint will be referred by a Consumer Commission for mediation, wherever scope for early settlement exists and parties agree for it. Mediation will be held in the Mediation Cells to be established under the aegis of the Consumer Commissions.  There will be no appeal against settlement through mediation.

As per the Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission rules, there will be no fee for filing cases upto Rs. 5 lakh. The CCPA may impose a penalty on a manufacturer or an endorser of up to Rs 10 lakh and imprisonment for up to two years for a false or misleading advertisement.  In case of a subsequent offence, the fine may extend to Rs 50 lakh and imprisonment of up to five years.

Consumer VOICE wishes all citizens an eventful National Consumer Day 2020 under the new strong Act and hopes that many consumers will join us in also celebrating the International Consumer Rights Day on 15th March 2021. Let’s pledge to make consumers’ voices heard !

For other articles by Consumer VOICE COO’s Desk, click here

Difference between National Pension Scheme and Atal Pension Yojana

Making the right decision during your retirement days is very important. The government has several pension plans lined up for you which will help you in your retirement days. The National Pension Scheme and the Atal Pension Yojana are two schemes to ensure financial security during your retired life.

FeaturesNPSAtal Pension Yojana
The age of joiningNPS has an entry age of a minimum of 18 years while the maximum is 55 years.Atal Pension Yojana has the entry age 18 years and the maximum age being only 40 years.
Who can take the planNPS allows investors who are citizens of India as well as NRIs to invest in the scheme.Atal Pension Yojana states that only a resident of India can invest in this plan
Pension particularsWhile the NPS doesn’t guarantee a pension post retirement.Atal Pension Yojana provides you with a guaranteed pension after retirement.
Tax BenefitNPS provides investors of this scheme a tax rebate of up to Rs. 2 lakhs.The Atal Pension Yojana doesn’t provide the applicant with any tax benefits
Premature WithdrawalOnly Tier 2 accounts will allow premature withdrawals.Under the Atal Pension Yojana you will not be allowed to withdraw the money invested prior to the term end. In case of the unfortunate demise of the investor, or the investor has a medical condition that withdrawal may be considered.
Type of accountNPS provides investors the choice of 2 types of accounts, Tier 1 and Tier 2.Atal Pension Yojana, provides investors with just one account.
InvestmentsNPS provides investors options in which he/she can choose to invest their money.Atal Pension Yojana does not give you the option of choosing the investment of your choice.
Government ContributionNPS does not provide government support, all contributions made will be done by the investor only.With the Atal Pension Yojana, the government does provide the investor some monetary support.

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Retirement days are meant to be spent with family and friends. To have a comfortable and secure retirement, you need to build the financial support that will fund it all.  Planning for retirement is an arduous task but an important one too.

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Making the right decision during your retirement days is very important. The government has several pension plans lined up for you which will help you in your retirement days.

National Pension Scheme or NPS scheme is an initiative of the government of India. It is a contribution-based pension scheme that allows a person to create a retirement corpus.

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