World Health Organization plans to eliminate trans fats from food by 2023

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In its latest guidelines on trans fats in food supply, the World Health Organization has advised governments, especially those in low and middle income countries, to eliminate these fats by 2023.

The consumption of artificial trans fats has been linked to cardiovascular diseases, said Yan Tsung-hai (顏宗海), chief toxicologist at Chang Gung Medical Hospital in New Taipei City's Linkou District (林口).

"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".

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

Margarine, ghee, and hardened vegetable fats often contain industrially produced trans fats, which are also present in many snacks, baked goods and fried foods.

Trans fats were first created artificially (they occur naturally in low levels in certain meat products) in the early 20th century and gained popularity in the 1950s as an alternative to butter.

The WHO recommends that no more than 1% of a person's calories come from trans fats.

But removing trans fat from processed foods won't completely eradicate the threat.

In India, that number is pegged at about 60,000 deaths, said Tom Frieden, former Head of the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention told Business Line, speaking from Geneva.

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In a statement Monday, the United Nations health agency said eliminating trans fats is critical to preventing deaths worldwide.

Trans fats are found in products manufacturers want to give a longer shelf life. They used them in doughnuts, biscuits and deep-fried foods.

In 2015, the US 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.

Dr. Tom Frieden, CEO of Resolve to Save Lives, has declared that NY has become the first state in the USA that has followed the footsteps of Denmark by eliminating trans-fats a decade ago.

The agency made the announcement on Monday, May 14, as they launched an initiative called REPLACE that will be the goal for all countries looking to get rid of artificial trans fats from their food supply, as CNN reported. Some claim that trans fatty acids are the most unsafe fats in the food supply.

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.

The World Health Organization announced on Monday that it is mounting a campaign to have risky man-made trans fats disqualified from use in all food products.

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