Industry welcomes WHO's plan to ban trans fats

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"Manufactured TFAs (also known as artificial TFAs) are formed when liquid vegetable oils are partially hydrogenated or "hardened" during processing".

Earlier this month World Health Organization issued its first draft recommendations on trans fats since 2002, saying adults and children should consume a maximum of one percent of their daily calories in the form of trans fats.

"This is the first time there has ever been an elimination program to get rid of - not an infectious disease like polio or small pox - but a non-communicable disease, in this case the risk factor for heart attacks that trans fat causes". There's not a good way to remove trans fats from natural foods, but food policy experts agree there's no place for artificially made trans fats in human diets.

When New York City banned restaurants from serving food with trans fats in 2006, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration adopted a requirement that same year for manufacturers to list trans fat content information on food labels. The UN agency estimates that trans fat contributes to more than 500,000 deaths each year from heart disease. In a statement, WHO's head, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, called the prospect of finally eradicating trans fats "a global win in the fight against cardiovascular disease". Also, this is the first time the WHO, or any worldwide health organization, has proposed a ban on a dietary component. This is then added to foods to increase shelf life or change taste or texture. The WHO initiative is aimed at eliminating the fats globally. "It's solid at room temperature, but it's also solid at body temperature in your coronary arteries".

"World Health Organization is also using this milestone to work with governments, the food industry, academia and civil society to make food systems healthier for future generations, including by eliminating industrially-produced trans fats." said Ghebreyesus.

After Denmark led the way 15 years ago with the world's first restrictions on industrially produced trans fats, New York City followed suit five years later. According to the British Dietetic Association: "Trans fats, like most saturated fats, raise blood cholesterol levels, particularly levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol".

Overall, diets high in these fats increase heart disease risk rates by 21 percent and death rates by 28 percent, and they're also associated with an increased risk for Type 2 diabetes.

Low- and middle-income countries have been slow, however, to adopt controls.

"The compliance date is still June 18, 2018". Trans fats still hide in some foods that millions of people eat every day, like coffee creamer, baking products like margarine and shortening, pre-made frosting, some potato chips, pre-made dough and fried food.

"We call on food producers in our sector to take prompt action and we stand ready to support effective measures to work toward the elimination of industrially produced trans fats and ensure a level playing field in this area", said Rocco Rinaldi, secretary-general of the International Food and Beverage Alliance.

Heart disease kills more people around the world than anything else.