World Health Organization leads push to universally ban trans fats

The WHO is the United Nations division to manage and deal with health problem issues around the world.h

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The same year the FDA required manufacturers to list trans fat content information on food labels. Food manufacturers need to reformulate products to contain close to zero trans fats.

"Trans-fat is an unnecessary toxic chemical that kills, and there's no reason people around the world should continue to be exposed", said Tom Frieden, a former head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control who now leads the Resolve health initiative.

The WHO on Tuesday released REPLACE, a step-by-step guide for the elimination of industrially produced trans-fatty acids from the global food supply. Hydrogenated fats are basically vegetable oil which has an extra hydrogen atom attached to its molecules using industrial processes, resulting in a substance that hardens into solid fat at lower temperatures, as the FDA described them. But healthier alternatives that will not affect taste or cost of food can be used, the World Health Organization said.

Endevelt said trans fats may still be found here in pastries and other baked goods in small bakeries or in popcorn.

"WHO calls on governments to use the REPLACE action package to eliminate industrially-produced trans-fatty acids from the food supply", said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Ph.D., director-general of WHO.

He's right. Various studies have shown that both the bans in NY and Denmark noticeably reduced the rate of death from heart disease in just three years.

Several rich countries have already virtually eliminated trans fats by putting limits on the amounts allowed in packaged foods.

"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".

"It is important to remember that, even with the actions by FDA and announcement by World Health Organization, there will always be naturally occurring trans fat in the diets that include meat and dairy products such as milk, butter and yogurt", the Grocery Manufacturer Association said. This is because they're used in partially-hydrogenated oils, which were first used as a butter replacement and then later as a replacement for foods containing saturated fatty acids.

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. Diets high in trans fats increase heart disease risk by 21% and deaths by 28%.

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