World Health Organisation aims to wipe out trans fats worldwide


From a practical perspective, the push to ban trans fats will be a key pillar of the WHO's new strategic plan for 2019 through 2023.

After Denmark led the way 15 years ago with the world's first restrictions on industrially produced trans fats, New York City followed suit five years later.

Nestle' SA is working toward "complete removal of all trans fats" originating from partially hydrogenated oils, a spokeswoman said. In 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said partially hydrogenated oils - which contain trans fats - weren't "generally recognized as safe".

The initiative is aimed at leading countries to the establishing of legislation that eliminates trans fats, said the WHO's Department of Nutrition for Health and Development's director Dr. Francesco Branca in a statement released in Geneva. The UN agency estimates that trans fat contributes to more than 500,000 deaths each year from heart disease.

Trans fats can commonly be found in junk food, as well as baked and fried goods.

Trans fats, often in the form of partially hydrogenated food oils, played a leading role in the post-World War II popularization of packaged foods in the USA and elsewhere.

Earlier this month World Health Organization issued its first draft recommendations on trans fats since 2002, saying adults and children should consume a maximum of one percent of their daily calories in the form of trans fats.

According to WHO, Action is needed in low- and middle-income countries, where controls of use of industrially-produced trans fats are often weaker, to ensure that the benefits are felt equally around the world.

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The World Health Organisation has called for the elimination of industrially produced trans-fatty acids from the global food supply.

WHO Global Ambassador for Non-communicable Diseases, Michael R. Bloomberg, a three-term mayor of NY city and the founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies, said "A comprehensive approach to tobacco control allowed us to make more progress globally over the last decade than nearly anyone thought possible - now, a similar approach to trans fat can help us make that kind of progress against cardiovascular disease, another of the world's leading causes of preventable death".

Promote the replacement of industrially-produced trans fats with healthier fats and oils.

A ssess and monitor trans fats in food and changes in trans fat consumption.

It said excessive amounts of saturated fat and trans fats should be replaced by polyunsaturated fats, such as fish, canola and olive oils.

Enforce compliance of policies and regulations.

Secretary-general Rocco Renaldi said: "We welcome this action by the World Health Organization and Resolve". Across much of South Asia they have very high heart disease risk and high trans fats intake, said Dr. Branca.

Heart attacks and strokes fell by more than 6 percent three years after some NY counties banned trans fats, researchers reported last year. Replacing trans fats with unsaturated fatty acids decreases the risk of heart disease, in part, by ameliorating the negative effects of trans fats on blood lipids.