World Health Organization plans to eliminate trans-fat from food by 2023

WHO Calls for Worldwide Elimination of Trans Fats by 2023

Israeli food manufacturers and importers will not have to make major changes to comply with the directive of the World Health Organization (WHO) to eliminate deadly trans-fatty acids in all foods by 2023.

The move gives India, with its high incidence of heart disease, the chance to look inwards at locally-produced healthy oils.

"Why should our children have such an unsafe ingredient in their foods?", World Health Organization director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in the statement. He further stated that implementing the six strategies in the REPLACE plan will help in eliminating the prevalence of trans-fat, thereby signifying a pivotal victory for WHO's initiative to combat cardiovascular ailments.

"Why should our children have such an unsafe ingredient in their foods" asked Tedros. The RE stands for reviewing dietary sources of trans-fatty acids; the P for promoting replacements; L for legislating actions; A for assessing trans fats content; C for creating awareness; and E for enforcing compliance.

According to the USDA, a reduction in trans fat could prevent almost 30,000 premature deaths in the US every year.

In the draft guidelines, open for public comments till June 1, the global health body defined the healthy intake of saturated and trans fats to prevent cardiovascular disease - reduce the intake of saturated fats to less than 10 per cent of your daily calorie count, it said.

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"It's a change in the food environment that's likely to have a significant impact on public health and does not require significant behavior change", New York University food scientist Marion Nestle told the Times.

Trans fats increase levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol, a well-accepted biomarker for cardiovascular disease risk, and decrease levels of "good" HDL cholesterol, which carry away cholesterol from arteries and transports it to the liver, which secretes it into the bile.

Industrially-produced trans-fat are contained in hardened vegetable fats, such as margarine and ghee, and are often present in snack food, baked foods, and fried foods.

Food makers liked artificial trans fats because they prolonged product shelf life.

Vox: The new global plan to eliminate the most harmful fat in food, explained (Belluz/Collins, 5/14). India has taken some steps in this line, like bringing down the level of TFA in vanaspati.

Former New York mayor and creator of the city's trans fat ban Michael Bloomberg likened the REPLACE plan to the highly-effective anti-tobacco campaigns that ran in the latter half of the 20th century. The decision has helped NY minimize the proportion of heart attacks without impacting the taste or costs of food products.

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