World Health Organization unveils new strategies to fight trans-fat in foods

WHO unveils new strategies to fight trans-fat in foods

WHO calls for the elimination of trans fats in all food by 2023

"Banning trans fats in New York City helped reduce the number of heart attacks without changing the taste or cost of food, and eliminating their use around the world can save millions of lives", Bloomberg said.

While trans fat can occur naturally in some meats and dairy products, it appears in industrial settings usually as margarine, a hardened fat that is caused by the addition of hydrogen to vegetable.

Crisco shortening, which his supermarket shelves in 1911, gave Americans their first taste of trans fatty food. "Numerous fats are in foods or oils made by local producers", Betsy McKay and Jacob Bunge write for the Wall Street Journal. World Health Organization is also using this milestone to work with governments, the food industry, academia and civil society to make food systems healthier for future generations, including by eliminating industrially-produced trans fats.

"Why should our children have such an unsafe ingredient in their foods?", World Health Organization director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in the statement.

"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".

"Trans fat is an unnecessary toxic chemical that kills, and there's no reason people around the world should continue to be exposed", Tom Frieden, president and CEO of Resolve to Save Lives, an initiative of Vital Strategies, said in a statement this morning through the WHO.

Once upon a time, the product was pitched as being healthier than its natural alternatives.

In certain countries, the risk is quite high.

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", writes the Associated Press' Mike Stobbe for the Washington Post. They used them in doughnuts, cookies and deep-fried foods.

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But they can have harmful health effects, such as raising levels of LDL cholesterol and increasing risk of heart disease, stroke and type two diabetes.

Most of the trans fats you're eating are probably made from soy beans.

Decades of studies have consistently shown that trans fats cause coronary artery disease, and some countries have already started to ban them.

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Legislate or enact regulatory actions to eliminate industrially-produced trans fats.

Good substitutes for partially hydrogenated fats and saturated fats are liquid oils such as olive oil, canola oil and safflower.

When New York City banned restaurants from serving food with trans fats in 2006, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration adopted a requirement that same year for manufacturers to list trans fat content information on food labels.

"The removal of trans fats from the food supply as an additive counts as one of the major public health victories of the last decade", said Laura MacCleery, policy director for the Washington, D.C. -based advocacy group, Center for Science in the Public Interest.

Enforce compliance of policies and regulations.

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