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World Health Organization warns countries against use of solid fat
16 May 2018, 11:15 | Silvia Roy
The World Health Organization has called for the eradication of artificial trans fats worldwide by 2023
"A comprehensive approach to tobacco control allowed us to make more progress globally over the last decade than nearly anyone thought possible", he said, "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". According to a study published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, Denmark's cardiovascular disease deaths declined dramatically three years after policy was enforced.
Food makers liked artificial trans fats because they prolong product shelf life and enhance flavor. What is new is the World Health Organization global initiative to tackle a non-communicable disease, said Frieden, presently the President and Chief Executive of Resolve to Save Lives (an initiative of non-profit organisation Vital Strategies), involved with implementing the World Health Organization campaign. "Trans fat is an unnecessary toxic chemical that kills, and there's no reason people around the world should continue to be exposed".
Despite these bans, trans fats remain popular in many emerging economies like Kenya, where local producers dominate the edible oil industry in the face of weak or vague regulations and restrictions.
But replacing saturated fats with partially hydrogenated oils was a bad idea.
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.
Trans fats increase the levels of LDL-cholesterol, a well-accepted biomarker for cardiovascular disease risk, and decreases levels of HDL-cholesterol, which carry away cholesterol from arteries and transport it to the liver, that secretes it into the bile. In 2004, Denmark became the first country to completely outlaw trans fats, and other countries have been getting on board more recently.
"A 2016 study of New York City's ban found that restricting the industrially-produced fats drove down cardiovascular deaths by 4.5% and produced annual savings of $3.9 million per 100,000 people", the Times notes. But the hope is that the guidelines will encourage governments to enact these bans.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of WHO, has stated that the world health agency has requested many countries to make use of the REPLACE action plan for removing trans-fatty acids from the food supply.
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