Nutritionists have called on the Government to issue regulations and apply stricter management measures concerning the use of unsaturated fats in the food industry in Vietnam.

"There is an urgent need," said vice chairman of the Vietnam Standard and Consumer Protection Association Do Gia Phan.

Trans fats (industrially-produced trans-fatty acids), are found in popular junk food and industrially produced foods such as donuts, fried sausage, snacks and instant noodles.

They were produced when hydrogenated oils were cooked, said deputy director of the Vietnam Cardiovascular Institute Nguyen Bach Yen.

According to the World Health Organisation, the consumption of trans fats increases the risk of coronary heart diseases and diabetes.

Phan said there was no regulations in Vietnam requiring producers to publish the amount of trans fats present in their products.

Some food products are labeled as "trans fats – free" at super markets, but there are no mandatory standards that regulate trans fat content.

Phan said other countries in the world had taken steps toward eliminating trans fats.

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) reported that Mc Donald's has eliminated trans fat in their products in Denmark, France, Russia and Argentina. /.