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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Ban on partially hydrogenated oils from July 24

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Muscat: The ban on Partially Hydrogenated Oils (PHOs) will come into force from July 24, according to the Food Safety & Quality Centre (FSQC).


The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources issued a decision on April 28, banning the production, import or marketing of Partially Hydrogenated Oils (PHOs), and food products in which these oils are used.


According to FSQC, hydrogenated oils are a type of fat used by food manufacturers to keep the shelf life longer. Hydrogenation is a process in which manufacturers add hydrogen to liquid fats, such as vegetable oil, to convert them into solid fats at room temperature.


Partially hydrogenated oil contains trans fat that can raise cholesterol and result in health complications.


In 2015, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said that partially hydrogenated oil is not safe and that removing it from food could prevent thousands of heart attacks each year.


Partially hydrogenated oil (PHOs) is a solid form of vegetable oil that has undergone hydrogenation. This process adds hydrogen molecules to the liquid vegetable oil and transforms it into a solid at room temperature. During this process, trans fat forms.


Trans fat is the worst type of fat to consume because it lowers your body's good cholesterol and raises the bad kind according to experts.


According to experts, non-communicable diseases (NCD) represent a major public health issue and have been responsible for untimely deaths in the country.


The Ministry of Health (MOH) has launched the National Monitoring Framework for the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases in 2021.


According to MOH, more than half of the population in the Sultanate of Oman suffers from obesity, and 33 per cent of individuals suffer from high blood pressure. More than 2,000 people are diagnosed with cancer each year.


The first step to controlling NCDs and reducing their burden is to integrate methods of prevention into development policies through strengthening policies, developing capacities, and supporting efforts to develop effective prevention mechanisms, which includes strengthening monitoring systems to provide key data to develop appropriate interventions.


This national framework has been prepared to reinforce the accountability and commitment of different sectors in implementing the various recommended interventions for the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases (NCDS).


The structure of this framework is based on various local, regional, and global high-priority indicators related to the control of the most common non-communicable diseases (e g, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases, and mental health), in addition to the indicators related to reducing the exposure to risk factors associated with these diseases (e g, tobacco use, alcohol use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, and air pollution.


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