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Fiji Time: 1:58 PM on Saturday 19 April

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Know the fat content

Avinesh Gopal
Monday, June 24, 2013

FATS are seen as a contributing factor to cardiovascular and other diseases.

It is said that the lesser fats per gram of food consumed the better it is for one's health.

But since there is a trend now to eat more processed food every day, the question that arises is whether people know what they are taking.

Considering this, nutrient labelling has become a focus now mainly to combat non-communicable diseases.

Every country in the world is reported to be making efforts to control the rising cases of NCDs.

Food, in their processed forms packed in cans and bottles and sold in supermarkets, is said to be one of the causes.

And while fat is an important part of the diet, eating too much of it results in various health problems, NCDs included.

Efforts are now being made by the Consumer Council of Fiji to educate consumers on how to read the nutrient labels.

"The nutrients are stated on the labels and one has to understand what it means," said the council's CEO Premila Kumar.

"One of the things that people especially have to know is the fat content in that particular processed food they consume.

"Fat is found in most foods, particularly junk food and it contributes to cardiovascular diseases."

Mrs Kumar said health conscious people would normally look for food with very little fat in it.

However, she said many people were often carried away by the terminology used on the nutrient labels.

"As a consumer, it becomes very hard for many people to read the labels and know what it means.

"The idea is to make it more simplified for consumers to know.

"A consumer has to understand what light and lite, low fat and reduced fat means."

Mrs Kumar said generally, there were products in the market that do not display the nutrients properly for consumers to read and understand.