Five billion people unprotected from trans fat leading to heart disease

Source: The post is based on the articleFive billion people unprotected from trans fat leading to heart diseasepublished in WHO on 23rd January 2023

What is the News?

The World Health Organization(WHO) has released a report titled “Countdown to 2023 – WHO report on global trans fat elimination”.

What are the key findings of the WHO report on global trans fat elimination?

WHO had called in 2018 for harmful trans fatty acids to be eliminated by 2023. They are thought to be responsible for around 500,000 premature deaths from coronary heart disease each year.

Since then, 43 countries have implemented best-practice policies for tackling trans fat, with some 2.8 million people now protected, a nearly six-fold increase.However, the elimination goal currently remains unattainable. 

Currently, 9 of the 16 countries with the highest estimated proportion of coronary heart disease deaths caused by trans-fat intake do not have a best-practice policy. Some of these countries are Australia, Bhutan, Egypt, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Nepal, and Pakistan among others.

What are the best practices to eliminate trans-fat?

Best practices in trans-fat elimination policies follow specific criteria established by WHO and limit industrially produced trans-fat in all settings. There are two best-practice policy alternatives:

– mandatory national limit of 2 grams of industrially produced trans-fat per 100 grams of total fat in all foods and 

– mandatory national ban on the production or use of partially hydrogenated oils as an ingredient in all foods.

What are the recommendations given by the WHO report on global trans fat elimination?

WHO recommends that countries focus on adopting the best-practice policy, in addition to monitoring and surveillance, healthy oil replacements and advocacy.  

In meanwhile, food manufacturers should be encouraged to eliminate industrially produced trans fat from their products.

What is Trans Fat?

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