World Health Organization urges ban on industrial trans-fats by 2023

WHO Calls for Worldwide Elimination of Trans Fats by 2023

The WHO announced a new plan to phase out trans fats from the food supply. Manufacturers use them as they have a longer shelf life than other fats.

Those fats are often found in common fried foods, fast food and snacks, and sometimes in desserts as well, according to the WHO. Seemingly though, medical experts are of the view that healthier product substitutes that will not affect the food tastes or costs can be effectively utilized in their place.

Invented at the turn of the last century, trans fatty acids are created by changing the molecular structure of vegetable oils.

Several high-income countries have virtually eliminated industrially-produced trans fats through legally imposed limits on the amount that can be contained in packaged food.

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Dr. Tom Frieden, CEO of Resolve to Save Lives, has declared that NY has become the first state in the US that has followed the footsteps of Denmark by eliminating trans-fats a decade ago. 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".

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. Denmark did it 15 years ago, and since then the United States and more than 40 other higher-income countries have been working on getting the heart-clogging additives out of their food supplies. "While we can not estimate a percentage of products on store shelves that will be free of PHOs on June 19, 2018, we are confident that over the past three years, manufacturers have taken appropriate steps to reformulate products if and as necessary", an FDA spokesperson told Newsweek.

The guidelines, he said, will ensure the prompt, complete and sustained elimination of industrially produced trans fats from the food supply and will include recommended legislation; monitoring of trans fats content in the food supply and changes in their consumption by the population; information campaigns to inform the public and policymakers about the negative health impact of trans fats. Many dairy and meat products contain trans fats that have also been linked to heart disease.

Trans fats increase levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol, a well-accepted biomarker for cardiovascular disease risk, and decrease levels of "good" HDL cholesterol, which carry away cholesterol from arteries and transports it to the liver, which secretes it into the bile.

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