World Health Organization calls for trans fats to be eliminated within five years

World Health Organization calls for trans fats to be eliminated within five years

World Health Organization calls for elimination of trans fat in foods by 2023 (Howard, 5/14). Such fatty acids are of 2 types: those of animal origin, present in meats and dairy products, which do not entail health problems, and those whose origin is of another type, whether vegetable or chemical. The WHO announced a new plan to phase out trans fats from the food supply.

Legislate or promote regulations or regulations to eliminate these substances from food. 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.

"The world is now setting its sights on today's leading killers — particularly heart disease, which kills more people than any other cause in nearly every country", said Frieden, who is president of a New-York-based philanthropy-funded project called Resolve to Save Lives. They are used by snack manufacturers as they have an elongated shelf life as compared to other kinds of fat. The U.S. now has a ban in place going into effect next month. For the record, Denmark had set an example for other nations by becoming the first to take an initiative of restricting the use of industrially manufactured trans-fats in food supply. They used them in such fare as doughnuts, cookies and deep-fried foods.

World Health Organization has said that trans fats intake leads to more than 5,00,000 deaths from cardiovascular disease, and wants its use phased out.

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 the U.S., New York City in 2006 banned restaurants from serving food with trans fats. "It is important to create awareness among people to read the nutrition label on food products which gives information about main ingredients and the percentage of trans fats".

Many manufacturers cut back, and studies showed trans fat levels in the blood of middle-aged USA adults fell by almost 60 percent by the end of the decade.

The call to eliminate trans fats follows from the WHO's updated guidelines on fat - already being contested by experts - that were released on May 4. "But in the last three or four years, most big food companies have stopped using trans fats", she said.

"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.

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