World Health Organization calls for trans fats to be eliminated within five years

Media Outlets Continue Coverage Of WHO's Plan To Eliminate Trans Fats From Global Food Supply By 2023

Media Outlets Continue Coverage Of WHO's Plan To Eliminate Trans Fats From Global Food Supply By 2023

Review dietary sources of industrially-produced trans fat and the landscape for required policy change.

Trans fats are popular with manufacturers of fried, baked and snack foods because they have a long shelf life, but they are bad for consumers, increasing heart disease risk by 21 percent and deaths by 28 percent, a World Health Organization statement said.

"It's a crisis level, and it's major front in our fight now", WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a news conference in Geneva on Monday.

A number of high income countries have already moved to restrict or ban trans-fats.

WHO is now encouraging low- and middle-income countries to join the movement, said Dr Francesco Branca, director of WHO's nutrition, health and development department. They do not spoil as quickly as other fats, but they can have some harmful health effects.

The six-step guide, called REPLACE, comes after World Health Organization opened a consultation until 1 June to review draft guidelines on intake of trans-fats and saturated fats for adults and children. But healthier alternatives can be used that would not affect taste or cost of food.

Elimination of industrially-produced trans fats from the global food supply has been identified as one of the priority targets of WHO's strategic plan for 2019-2023.

"WHO calls on governments to use the REPLACE action package to eliminate industrially-produced trans-fatty acids from the food supply".

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In the USA, the first trans fatty food to hit the market was Crisco shortening, which went on sale in 1911. Trans fatty foods became increasingly popular beginning in the 1950s, partly because experts at the time thought they were healthier than cooking with butter or lard. Manufacturers use them as they have a longer shelf life than other fats.

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

WHO now wants it eliminated with a view to protecting health and saving lives.

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 huge payoff of the move should make the idea a no-brainer.

Unlike places such as the United States and Israel, UK manufacturers do not have to place warning labels on foods that contain trans fats to warn consumers.

According to the USDA, a reduction in trans fat could prevent almost 30,000 premature deaths in the US every year.

The US Food and Drug Administration has asked food manufacturers to stop using trans fatty acids by June 18, 2018, but it refuses to say what progress has been made so far.

The World Health Organization announced on Monday that it is mounting a campaign to have unsafe man-made trans fats disqualified from use in all food products.

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