WHO aims to eliminate the use of trans fats world wide by 2023 and released REPLACE, a step-by-step guide for the elimination of industrially-produced trans-fatty acids from the global food supply.
Eliminating trans fats is key to protecting health and saving lives: WHO estimates that every year, trans fat intake leads to more than 500,000 deaths of people from cardiovascular disease.
"We are talking about a crisis and it is an offensive in our current fight", Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO boss, told a press conference in Geneva.
In some places, partially hydrogenated oils have already been banned, cutting off one of the main sources of commercially produced trans fats from their food supply, according to the World Health Organization via Reuters. Denmark was the first country to ban trans fats in 2013.
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).
The trans fats have recently been identified as the cause of heart attacks and strokes, an increased risk for Type 2 diabetes and infertility in women.
World Health Organization recommends that the total trans fat intake be limited to less than 1 percent of total energy intake, which translates to less than 2.2 g/day with a 2,000-calorie diet.
Since January 2008, members of the British Retail Consortium, which includes the major United Kingdom supermarkets and fast food chains, have stopped using trans fats as an ingredient in foods.
"New York City eliminated industrially-produced trans fat a decade ago, following Denmark's lead", said Dr. Tom Frieden, President and CEO of Resolve to Save Lives, an initiative of Vital Strategies.
Those fats are often found in common fried foods, fast food and snacks, and sometimes in desserts as well, according to the WHO. They possess extreme risk of heart diseases as they consume excessive amount of trans fats. Manufacturers often use them as they have a longer shelf life than other fats.
In 2015, the FDA took steps to finish the job of eliminating trans fats, calling for manufacturers to stop selling trans fatty foods by June 18, 2018 - a deadline that arrives next month.
REview: Review food sources of trans fatty acids and policy changes needed.
Experts say transitioning away from trans fats is not only life-saving, but financially viable as well.
Assess and monitor trans-fat content in the food supply and changes in trans fat consumption in the population.
"It is important to create awareness among people to read the nutrition label on food products which gives information about main ingredients and the percentage of trans fats".
Enforce: Ensure the proper application of policies and regulations.
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