Awareness on Dietary Fats among Consumers and the Levels of Total Fat in Selected Foods; in Relation to Proposed Nutrition Labelling in Sri Lanka

K. L. A. L. Dias, I. Wickramasinghe

Abstract


Excessive consumption of dietary fats is one of the principal causes of the prevailing problem of noncommunicable diseases in Sri Lanka. With the intention of combats against the rising levels of noncommunicable diseases, Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka have proposed regulations, for mandatory food labelling and traffic light labeling on processed foods. The effectiveness on nutrition profile labelling is greatly determining by the awareness and attitudes on dietary fats among consumers, and the levels of total fats present in foods available in Sri Lanka. Therefore, a cross sectional study was conducted with 413 shoppers, lives in Colombo district, Sri Lanka. Self - administrated questionnaire was used to assess the consumers’ postures on dietary fats. Total fats of seventy four most popular food products were also determined, under seven categories as; fast foods, bakery products, spreadable fats, biscuits, snacks, Sri Lankan sweetmeats and chocolates. According to the findings, respondents have a good basic knowledge of dietary fat-disease relationship. Nevertheless their awareness on different types and terms related with dietary fats were low. Even though the majority were food label users, the use of information on food labels such as; ingredient list, nutrition information and serving size were substantially poor. Therefore to gain the intended outcome of the proposed regulation, consumers need to be educated about dietary fats and use of food labels. According to the total fat analysis, 47 food products out of 74 were segmented under red category, suggesting the need of active regulations to limit the fat present in processed foods available in Sri Lanka. As well as total fat, saturated fat  present in food play a significant role in human health and proposed nutrition profile labeling. Hence further studies are needed to assess the amount of saturated fat present in processed foods available in Sri Lanka.

 


Keywords


Dietary fats; Noncommunicable diseases;Traffic light labelling;Processed foods

Full Text:

PDF

References


Ministry of Health, The national policy and strategic frame work for prevention and control of chronic non- communicable diseases strategic plan 2010-2015, 2009.

Shanmugarajah K., Non communicable diseases – frightening statistics from Sri Lanka. Colombo: News 1st, 2014

Engelgau M., Okamoto K.., Navaratne K. V., Gopalan S., Prevention and Control of Selected Chronic NCDs in Sri Lanka: The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, 2014.

World Health Organization, Noncommunicable Diseases Country Profiles 2014, World Health Organization, 2014

Hettiarachchi, K., Fat facts: Simple sacrifices for healthy life.:Wijeya Newspapers Ltd, 2011

Rathnaweera W, Fast food promotes childhood obesity : The Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd,2014.

Department of Census and Statistics-Sri Lanka, Census of Population and Housing-2012, 2013

Ministry of Health, Prevention and control of chronic non-communicable diseases strategic plan 2010-2015, 2009

Department of Census and Statistics Sri Lanka, Estimated Mid-year Population by District and Sex 2012 – 2013, 2014

Rogers E.M. , Diffusion of Innovations. 3rded. New York: Free press, 1983.

Macías Y.F. , Glasauer P. , Guidelines for assessing nutrition-related knowledge, attitudes and practices, Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations,2014.

Association of Official Chemists International , Official Methods of Analysis of AOAC International. 16th ed., 1998.

Nutrition Division of Ministry of Health Sri Lanka, Color coding (high, medium and low), 2014, unpublished.

Food and Drug Administration, CFR-Code of Federal Regulations Title 21,2014

M. P. N. De Zoysa, P. Dias, “An assessment of consumers’ knowledge, attitudes and habits in relation to functional foods”, In Proceeding(s) of the SAITM Research Symposium on Engineering Advancements, pp. 192-196, 2014

Hettiarachchi, K., Fat facts:Simple sacrifices for healthy life, Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.,2011

Nutrition Division of Ministry of Health, Guidelines for healthy canteens in work places, 2013

Ministry of Health,Prevention and control of chronic non-communicable diseases strategic plan 2010-2015,2009

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2010. Fats and fatty acids in human nutrition, Rome

American Heart Association, Know Your Fats, Available at: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/ Cholesterol/ PreventionTreatmentofHighCholesterol/Know-YourFats [cited 25 September 2014]

Rathnaweera W, Fast food promotes childhood obesity :The Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd, 2014.

Liyanaarachchi G.V.V , Jayasinghe J.A.G, Fernando D.C.C.A, Kalubowila K.A.D, Trans fatty acid levels of selected food types consumed in Sri Lanka , Abstract of Scientific Sessions of the Nutrition Society of Sri Lanka, pp 12, 2009

Summaries of EU legislation, Spreadable fats (dairy and non-dairy): Definition, labelling and sale,2008

Food Standard Agency, Guidance on legislation for spreadable fats and other yellow fat spreads,2010

Codex Alimentarius, Standard for Fat Spreads and Blended Spreads,2009

Codex Alimentarius, Codex standard for butter,2014

Wikipedia, Peanut, Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peanut, [cited 16 September 2014]


Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Copyright (c)