The World Doesn't Need Trans Fats

Food Makers Vow to Cut Trans Fats Globally

But these fats are still commonly used in the Middle East, India, Pakistan and elsewhere, which is why it is welcome news that the World Health Organization is calling on countries to phase them out by 2023.

For example, in Denmark, the first country to mandate restrictions on industrially-produced trans fats, the trans-fat content of food products declined dramatically and cardiovascular disease deaths declined more quickly than in comparable OECD countries. World Health Organization director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in the statement.

Officials think it can be done in five years because the work is well underway in many countries.

During 2015, the FDA gave food businesses three years to eliminate artificial trans fats that contain the hydrogenated oils from foods that are processed. "The UK is lagging behind countries like Denmark", said Prof Capewell. More than 20 nations have restricted the use of trans fats in the last 15 years, and major food manufacturers have practically eliminated the use of trans fats in their foods: Nestle has eliminated trans fats from 99.8% of the oils they use; members of the International Food and Beverage Alliance, which include Kellogg, General Mills, and McDonald's, have eliminated trans fats from 98.8% of their global product portfolios; and Mondelez International, the maker of Oreos, is on track to eliminate all partially hydrogenated oils from its products by the end of the year.

Several factors were in Argentina's favor, including the availability of plant-based alternative fats enabled by increased production of sunflower oil high in oleic acid. "Numerous fats are in foods or oils made by local producers", Betsy McKay and Jacob Bunge write for the Wall Street Journal.

Countries will likely have to use regulation or legislation to get food makers to make the switch, experts said.

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The WHO today published an initiative called Replace which provides six strategic actions to ensure the prompt, complete, and sustained elimination of industrially produced trans fats from the food supply.

Dr. Tom Frieden, a former director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, called trans fats "an unnecessary toxic chemical that kills", noting that NY got rid of it a decade ago. Also, this is the first time the WHO, or any global health organization, has proposed a ban on a dietary component.

"The first trans fatty food to hit the USA market was Crisco shortening, which went on sale in 1911". In the developed parts of the world, trans fats are becoming rarer and rarer.

Trans fats, often in the form of partially hydrogenated food oils, played a leading role in the post-World War II popularization of packaged foods in the USA and elsewhere. They used them in doughnuts, cookies and deep-fried foods. Health advocates say trans fats are the most harmful fat in the food supply. The study also found that replacing industrially-produced trans fat will save between US$17 million and $87 million in healthcare costs annually.

Partially hydrogenated oils were first introduced into the food supply in the early 20th century as a replacement for butter, and became more popular in the 1950s through 1970s with the discovery of the negative health impacts of saturated fatty acids.

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