WHO Calls for Global Ban on Trans Fat

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The world could eliminate industrially-produced trans fats by 2023, the World Health Organization said on Monday, unveiling a plan that it said would prevent 500,000 deaths per year from cardiovascular disease.

Artificial trans fats are unhealthy substances that are created when hydrogen is added to vegetable oil to make it solid, like in the creation of margarine or shortening.

Unveiling the campaign in Geneva, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged governments to act.

Defining "elimination", Frieden said, it meant bringing down the level of TFA in food to two per cent. Countries like Denmark did this way back in 2003 and found that even cardio vascular deaths declined.

"The world is now setting its sights on today's leading killers — particularly heart disease, which kills more people than any other cause in nearly every country", said Frieden, who is president of a New-York-based philanthropy-funded project called Resolve to Save Lives.

But studies gradually revealed that trans fats wreck cholesterol levels in the blood and drive up the risk of heart disease.

Food manufacturers in America are expected by next month to have reworked their products so that the levels of trans fats contained in them are non-threatening.

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Willett, who was an early voice in the fight against trans fats, further explains that the low cost of a full transition to much healthier fats when taken into account the enormous payoff of the move should make the idea a no-brainer. They are often present in frying oils, fried snacks, margarine and shortening since trans fat-based oils have a longer shelf life (don't worry, Canada has almost phased them out entirely in those products).

Nutritionist Sujatha Stephen said, "We used to have only saturated and unsaturated fats but nowadays because of the advent of the western foods the use of trans fats is increasing".

Trans-fatty acids can also occur naturally in meat and dairy products from ruminant animals (e.g. cattle, sheep, goats, etc).

In 2015, the FDA determined that trans fats are not generally recognized as safe. According to estimates compiled by World Health Organization, the consumption of trans fats leads to over 500,000 deaths due to severe heart ailments.

Quartz: How trans fat fell from grace to become a foodie villain (Purdy, 5/14).

WHO Global Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases, Michael R. Bloomberg said, "Banning trans-fats in New York City helped reduce the number of heart attacks and eliminating their use around the world can save millions of lives". FDA officials have not said how much progress has been made or how they will enforce their rule against food makers that don't comply.

"New York City eliminated industrially produced trans fat a decade ago, following Denmark's lead", said Dr.

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