Consumption of unsafe food is leading to an exponential rise in the prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and related mortality in the country, health experts and rights activists said on Tuesday.
One in every five (21%) adults in Bangladesh are suffering from hypertension at present and intake of unsafe food is greatly responsible for it, they said at a webinar marking World Food Safety Day 2022 with the theme 'Safer food, better health' organised by research and advocacy organisation PROGGA with support from the Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI).
Hypertension causes increased risks of cardiovascular diseases. About 2,77,000 people die of cardiovascular diseases each year in the country. Half of the women (51%) and two-thirds of men (67%) are not even aware of their hypertension conditions in Bangladesh.
According to the data of the Global Burden of Disease Study (GBD) 2019, hypertension is one of the three major risk factors for death and disability in Bangladesh. The hypertension burden is a major hindrance in achieving the SDG goals and targets for Bangladesh.
It was also informed at the webinar that foods laden with industrially produced trans fats are harmful to health. Intake of excessive trans fats in food leads to increased risks of hypertension and mortality from cardiovascular diseases. Although the Bangladesh Food Safety Authority (BFSA) has already promulgated the 'Controlling Trans Fatty Acids in Foodstuffs Regulation, 2021', the regulation is yet to be implemented.