Front page in UK, no news in SingaporeJanuary 31, 2007
When Harvard University researchers reported earlier this month that they found trans fats increased the risks of infertility, it made front page news in The Daily Express, “the world’s greatest newspaper” (this is how The Daily Express describes itself).
I learnt this the other evening from chatting on the telephone with Oliver Tickell, who runs the British anti-trans fats campaign, tfX.
Of course, there were also UK newspapers that buried the story in a small column on page 60. But Oliver tells me that the British media has overall been very supportive of the campaign to heighten consumer awareness about the dangers of trans fats.
Well, I cannot really complain that our local media is not supportive. Not when the ST Forum just published another of my letters today, about trans fat labelling in South Korea. But hey, some of you read about that first, right here on this blog.
But did the big story about trans fats and infertility make it to the Singapore MSM (main stream media)?
Admittedly, I don’t read the newspapers everyday so I could have missed the report. As far as I am aware, the news wasn’t reported here – until I mention it today at the bottom of my letter about trans fat labelling in South Korea.
So this piece of important news finally appeared in The Straits Times, summarised into one short sentence buried in a Forum Letter.
Click here to read more about trans fats, infertility and other birth-related problems on my website, www.stop-trans-fat.com.
The next short sentence summarised another recent news item about trans fats, or rather, about ‘No trans fat’. This is the report about interesterified fat, another strange new invention of the food industry, being possibly more harmful than trans fat. Again, some of you might have read about it first on this blog.
Back to infertility…
Harvard researchers reported on January 19 that a mere 2 percent increase in trans fat consumption could increase a woman’s risks of infertility by 70 percent or more!
That’s a very major risk coming from a very small amount of trans fats. To increase your risks of fertility, all you need to do is take 4 grams of trans fats – less than the amount that comes from a piece of fried chicken, cooked in hydrogenated oils, from a fast food restaurant.
Even though our newspapers have dedicated health pages – in fact, an entire health supplement every Wednesday in the case of The Straits Times – for some reason they cannot find the space to convey this major health risk.
Perhaps this is why our health authorities and medical experts, such as the chairman of the Singapore Heart Foundation, consider trans fats to be “a small problem”. They only read the local MSM?
For sure you will not learn about trans fats and infertility – or, for that matter, trans fats and lots of other health issues – on the Health Promotion Board’s website either. As of today, HPB Online still has that same, 700+ word article, All about trans fats which contains just two sentences about the effects of trans fats on the body. I quote:
Trans fat behaves like saturated fat in the body, raising low-density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad” cholesterol) that increases your risk of coronary heart disease. In addition to raising “bad” cholestrol, trans fat also reduces the blood levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL or “good” cholestrol), which protects against heart disease.
Is that ALL that the HPB has to say about trans fats. Is that ALL it knows? If it knows more, why isn’t the HPB telling it?
In an email to me some weeks back, a friend wrote: People (like me) know more about transfat from reading the forum page than all the activities of HPB on this subject in the past 10 years!
I must invite him to read this blog too.
And hey! I just realised today is his birthday. Happy Birthday Pat 🙂