Growing evidence shows a great connection between continuous consumption of Trans-fats and the resultant health risks and effects. A study conducted in 2012 identified coronary artery disease as the primary health risk associated with the use of Trans fats (Tsuzuki, 2010). According to Mensink and Katan (2015), Trans-fats affect coronary artery in two ways; raising the level of cholesterols and increasing the levels of C-reactive proteins (CRP) in the body. Trans-fats behave in a manner similar to saturated fats in the body by increasing the level of LDL. However, Trans-fats have additional negative effects of decreasing the amount of HDL in the body unlike saturated fats (Bagozzi, 2007).
Caggiula and Mustad(2010) add that continuous consumption of Trans-fats increases an individual’s risk of developing stroke and heart diseases alongside other risk conditions such as type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, obesity, and liver dysfunction. Another study conducted by Tsuzuki (2010)showed a high correlation between Trans-fats and additional health effects such as the development of the major depressive disorder, diminished memory in individuals, and behavioral irritability alongside aggression. As a result, many countries and states have responded to the effects of Trans-fats by developing laws, regulations, and policy guidelines that have resulted in either a permanent ban or minimize the use of Trans-fats. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned the use of food including Trans-fats on 16th of June 2015 (Mensink&Katan, 2015).
The FDA ban is expected to be effective within three years and restaurants will only be allowed to use Trans-fats approved by the FDA. Health Canada issued an order on 15th of September 2017 requiring a ban on the use of Trans-fats in restaurants and all food preparation firms to be effective 15 September 2018. Argentina, Denmark and Switzerland tops in the list of the countries that have permanently banned the use of Trans-fats with increasing views that this prohibition will help in reducing the high costs spent on Trans-fats health effects such as coronary artery and heart failure. The states of New York, Maryland, and California have issued bans on the use of Trans-fats in manufacture and preparation of food (Caggiula&Mustad, 2010).
The growing health effects and risks associated with the continuous use of Trans-fats in the restaurants as well as hotels located in the town council calls for an effective action to be taken as a control measure. The best measure to take in this case is issuing a ban on the use of Tran-fats in the town council. A ban comprises of different types of public health intervention. First, the ban is a public health promotion initiative. The World Health Organization (2013) defines health promotion as a fundamental process that seeks to enable individuals living a given region to increase their control over, and improve their health status.
Health promotion has to cover a wide range of environmental and social initiatives designed to benefit and protect people’s health and quality of life by addressing and controlling the root causes of poor health as opposed to putting a focus on treatment and cure. The process entails three critical elements which include good governance for health, healthy cities and health literacy (Richter &Riemer, 2009). In this case, the council’s decision to ban Trans-fats is an example of good governance which entails development of policies and regulations to protect people from becoming ill. In addition, this ban will help in creating a healthy city by improving the health status of the people living in the town council.
Secondly, banning the use of Trans-fats is a preventive measure. Prevention goes hand in hand with promotion as the two programs focus on continuous maintenance of people’s health status (Federal Centre for Health Education, 2009). Disease prevention emphasizes the need to develop prevention strategies for minimizing the risk of developing chronic diseases and other illnesses. This ban is, therefore, a preventive initiative as aims at reducing the risk of developing coronary artery and other diseases such as liver dysfunction, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and obesity as the chronic conditions. Lastly, the ban is both rehabilitative and supportive in nature due to its ability to reduce a wide range of conditions as ascertained by the World Health Organization (2013).
A Plan of Action to be followed when implementing the Ban
The town council should follow critical steps to ensure that the ban on Trans-fats is successful. First, the management of the council should obtain the maximum understanding of the ban and also give the restaurant and hotel managers time to understand it. This process should be conducted by writing a proposal to all stakeholders engaged in the food and beverage industry to inform them on the health benefits of implementing the ban and the time when the ban will be effective. In this case, different players will be given time to respond accordingly and suggest further strategies and initiatives that can be adapted to make the entire program successful.
Secondly, the town council management should educate the entire society on the need to consider available options after getting different suggestions from the restaurant and hotel owners in the town. Some of the alternatives available as critical solutions to the use of Trans-fats include modifying the hydrogeneration process to eliminate Trans-fats in food sources during manufacturing, using natural oils, and industrially trait-enhanced oils. The third step should aim at preparing a team of experts from the town council to manage the entire process before and after the ban comes into effect.
This step should involve proper training and preparation of the team of experts especially those having a regular contact with the customer such as the public health professionals. These professionals will be expected to act as supervisors who will not only monitor but also evaluate whether manufacturers and food restaurants are meeting the conditions stipulated in the ban. The fourth step should entail informing the community of the date when the ban will come into effect. In this case, it is important to issue guidance informing the implementation team and the entire public on the tie given before the ban becomes applicable.
It is important to inform the entire public on the legal procedures that will be taken on offenders and guide them on where they can get a wide access to the products that are free from Trans-fats. Implementation of the ban will be the last step. In this case, the ban should be in operation a year after its development. When the ban comes into effect, neither a food manufacturing firm nor a food retailing, distributing and selling restaurant or hotel will be allowed to be in possession of any food rich in Tran-fats. All stakeholders should be encouraged to seek for wide assistance and advice from the town council, especially the public health department to ensure that the ban remains effective unless any changes are recommended.
According to Keitt (2010), there are different metrics that can be used when measuring the success of a campaign program. First, the town council should use its team of professionals collect data in the town regarding the effectiveness of the implemented ban. There are numerous techniques that can be used in collecting data. The primary techniques will entail the use of observation, interviewing the public on the effectiveness of the ban, and using questionnaires. Secondary techniques can entail conducting research in books and other sources such as magazines to understand the improvement levels achieved by other regions in comparison with the town council (Cooper, Martin, Kiernan, 2010).
The second technique should entail online based platforms such as Twitter YouTube, Facebook, and LinkedIn (Bagozzi, 2007). It will be critical for the company to develop these online pages and platforms to help in the process of ensuring that the program meets the desired success outcomes. For instance, measuring the awareness of the ban among people living in the town council region can use estimative metrics such as the exposure of participants, amplification and reach(Ritter, et al., 2009). Thirdly, the level of engagement in the implementation of the ban can be measured around metrics targeting to show manufacturer and stakeholder re-tweets, comments on the on-going program implementation and replies.
The fourth strategy should entail comprehensive supervision through visiting restaurant owners and different manufacturers. In this case, the supervisory team should have members with laboratory skills for testing different food products to ascertain the presence or absence of Trans-fats. The last metric measure entails the evaluation of the entire process. The evaluation includes both formative, conducted at the beginning of the program and summative conducted at the end of the program to ascertain whether the project is meeting its goals (Ritter, et al., 2009).
Trans-fats have far-reaching health effects as documented in this report. As such, the implementation of a ban on Trans-fats is a critical step towards health prevention and promotion. However, it is critical to understand that the success of a given program such as issuing a ban on manufacturing and selling of foods containing Trans-fats is measured through evaluation. Successful programs and projects are those with the capacity to remain sustainable despite the withdrawal of any form of external support. As such, the town council should use combined strategies to measure the effectiveness ofa ban on Trans-fats as explained in this report.
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