World Health Organization urges ban on industrial trans-fats by 2023

Representative image

Representative image

Pixabay/huntlhArtificial trans fats, or trans fatty acids, are made from vegetable oil hardened via a process called hydrogenation and are commonly used in fried or baked snack foods, as well as items like margarine and frostings. The same year the FDA required manufacturers to list trans fat content information on food labels. Manufacturers have used them to give their products a longer shelf life than other fats.

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.

A ban on the processed fats would save half a million lives each year, World Health Organization says. Seemingly though, medical experts are of the view that healthier product substitutes that will not affect the food tastes or costs can be effectively utilized in their place.

Endevelt said trans fats may still be found here in pastries and other baked goods in small bakeries or in popcorn. "While we can not estimate a percentage of products on store shelves that will be free of PHOs on June 19, 2018, we are confident that over the past three years, manufacturers have taken appropriate steps to reformulate products if and as necessary", an FDA spokesperson told Newsweek.

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In the wake of the WHO alarm bells on increasing deaths due to trans fats, doctors say that more and more people are facing health problems because of the consumption of trans fats in large quantities. Reportedly, some of the countries across the globe have banned the use of partially hydrogenated oils, which are the key sources of trans-fats. "Implementing the six strategic actions in the REPLACE package will help achieve the elimination of trans fat and represent a major victory in the global fight against cardiovascular disease". Many dairy and meat products contain trans fats that have also been linked to heart disease.

"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.

"Trans fats increases levels of L.D.L. -cholesterol, a well-accepted biomarker for cardiovascular disease risk, and decreases levels of H.D.L. -cholesterol, which carry away cholesterol from arteries and transport it to the liver, that secretes it into the bile", according to WHO. Partially hydrogenated oils were first introduced into the food supply in the early 20th century as a replacement for butter.

It increases the risk of heart disease by 21 per cent and death by 28 per cent.

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