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Do Ukrainians know about the risks of using trans fats? Survey results.
Address: 01030, Kyiv, street Bohdana Khmelnytskoho 32, of. 29, tel./fax: +38 (044) 234 93 20
In the news agency “Ukrinform” NGO “Life” and the Public Health Center of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine held a presentation of the results of the all-Ukrainian survey  of the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology on public awareness of the dangers of trans fats. Participants discussed the main findings of the research and the need to reduce trans fats in foods.
Link to the analytical report
Most respondents agree that trans fats have a detrimental effect on health. 61% of the adult population in Ukraine regularly consumes products containing trans fats. At the same time, 73% of respondents who say that such products are not part of their normal diet, eat foods with trans fats at least 1-2 days a week.
“The field phase of the research lasted from 18 to 27 September 2021. As part of a computer-assisted telephone interview (CATI) 2006 interviews were conducted. The data are representative for the population of Ukraine aged 18 and older (excluding Crimea and the occupied part of Donbass). The sampling error with a probability of 0.95 does not exceed 2.5%. During the survey, the practices of Ukrainians using products containing trans fats were studied. The survey showed that the majority of Ukrainians consume products with trans fats several times a week, and also found a low level of awareness of which products contain trans fats.”, — Viktoriia Zakhozha, Deputy Director of the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology, emphasized.
Survey data show that 74% of Ukrainians consume homemade food fried in oil at least 1-2 days a week. They also quite often eat products made using margarine and other vegetable fats (63%), and the respondents rarely eat snacks (13%) and fried food made outside the home (18%). The younger the respondents, the more often they eat products with trans fats.
“Industrially produced trans fats have no benefit to human health. Instead, their consumption is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, which ranks first in the structure of the leading causes of death in Ukraine. Therefore, eliminating trans fats from all foodstuff is an affordable and effective tool to improve life expectancy and quality”, ーAndrii Skipalskyi, Specialist of the World Health Organization on risk factors of non-infectious diseases in Ukraine emphasized.
82% of respondents support legislation to limit the content of trans fats in food products of industrial production.
“PHÑ supports clear and acceptable to 82% of the population legislative restrictions on the production and use of trans fats, which are dangerous and lead to deterioration of health, disability and premature mortality of the population of Ukraine”, ー said Oleh Dudin, Chief Specialist of the Department of Behavioral Risk Factors of the Public Health Center of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine.
Consumption of artificially produced trans fats, which are found in cakes, cookies, biscuits, packaged foods, cooking oils and spreads, kills more than half a million people worldwide each year. In 2018, the World Health Organization released REPLACE action pack and called for a global phase-out of trans fats by 2023.
"82% of Ukrainians are aware that the consumption of foods containing trans fats leads to cardiovascular diseases, while only 38% of respondents know which foodstuff we are familiar with contain trans fats. Today, 42 countries around the world already have restrictions on the content of trans fats in foodstuff and Ukraine, unfortunately, is still not included in this list", — Liliia Olefir, Executive Director of the Center for Civic Representation "Life".
Legislative regulation of trans fats in foodstuff is one of the most effective ways to reduce their consumption. For example, the Bill “On Amendments to Certain Laws of Ukraine on Improving the Quality of Foodstuff Consumed by Children” was recently adopted in the first reading” provides for the following rules:
- establishing the maximum content of trans fatty acids in foodstuffs (not more than 2 grams per 100 grams of the total amount of all fats contained in the foodstuff);
- oblige market operators to provide information on the amount of trans fatty acids in foodstuff when supplying products to other producers;
- fines for violations (for legal entities - 40 minimum wages (as of this year), 240 thousand UAH, for natural persons-entrepreneurs - 25 minimum wages, 150 thousand UAH).
For reference: NGO "Life" together with the Public Health Center of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine is implementing a project from Resolve to Save Lives at the initiative of Vital Strategies to support measures aimed at eliminating trans fats and harmful additives from foodstuffs in Ukraine.
Trans fatty acids are a type of unsaturated fat, they can be natural or artificially produced. Natural trans fatty acids are found in dairy products and beef. Artificially produced trans fatty acids are most often found in processed foods that contain partially hydrogenated vegetable oils.
Products containing trans fats: spreads; products made using margarine (confectionery, pastries, crackers, etc.); products fried with oil (pastries, chebureks, donuts, french fries, nuggets and other deep-fried products); snacks; sweet and glazed cheeses; processed curds; mayonnaise; products fried with a large amount of oil, in particular at home (cutlets, pancakes, etc.).
Contact person: Dmytro Polonskyi, media coordinator of the NGO "Life", 063 344 12 69, Dmytro.firstname.lastname@example.org
 The All-Ukrainian survey "Opinions and views of the population of Ukraine on trans fats" was conducted by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology in September 2021 as part of a regular Omnibus commissioned and financially supported by the WHO Office in Ukraine and NGO "Life" (within the Resolve to Save Lives initiative of the World Health Organization Vital Strategies).