United Nations urges countries to eliminate trans fats, reduce cardiac deaths

United Nations urges countries to eliminate trans fats, reduce cardiac deaths

United Nations urges countries to eliminate trans fats, reduce cardiac deaths

Denmark completed the process 15 years ago.

Artificial trans fats are unhealthy substances that are created when hydrogen is added to vegetable oil to make it solid, like in the creation of margarine or shortening.

It wants to eliminate all foods containing them over the next five years.

"Multinational companies that make trans fats and have used them as ingredients said they have largely eliminated those oils from foods in the US, parts of Europe and Canada, where governments already restrict their use".

The WHO, on Monday launched its new REPLACE initiative that provides guidance to countries on the best ways to remove artificial trans fats from foods, hoping to lead to worldwide eradication.

Heart and circulatory disease kills 160,000 people in the United Kingdom each year - with an estimated 2,000 to 3,000 people dying as a result of chronic conditions caused by consuming trans fat, said Prof Capewell.

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% and deaths by 28%, a World Health Organization statement said. But trans fats remain widely used where regulators and food makers have been slower to take action.

In Denmark, the first country to mandate restrictions on industrially-produced trans fats, the trans fat content of food products declined dramatically and cardiovascular disease deaths declined more quickly than in comparable OECD countries.

Oils containing trans fats are cheap, easy to produce, and often taste pretty good, therefore keeping them popular in lower-income countries - which is why the World Health Organization is pushing this plan and asking governments to phase out trans fats within five years. As part of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals, the global community has committed to reducing premature death from noncommunicable diseases by one-third by 2030.

"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.

Promote the replacement of industrially-produced trans fats with healthier fats and oils.

C reate awareness about the negative health effects of trans fats.

Enforce compliance with policies and regulations.

It said excessive amounts of saturated fat and trans fats should be replaced by polyunsaturated fats, such as fish, canola and olive oils.

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

There are two main sources for trans fats: natural sources (in the dairy products and meat of ruminants such as cows and sheep) and industrially-produced sources (partially hydrogenated oils). Diets high in trans-fat increase heart disease risk by 21 percent and deaths by 28 percent.

The WHO recommends that no more than 1 percent of a person's calories come from trans fats. In addition, there are indications that trans fat may increase inflammation and endothelial dysfunction.

Related news