World Health Organization pushes ban of margarine by 2023

Representative image

The world could eliminate industrially-produced trans fats by 2023, the World Health Organization said on Monday, unveiling a plan that it said would prevent 500,000 deaths per year from cardiovascular disease.

The United Nations agency has in the past pushed to exterminate infectious diseases, but now it's aiming to erase a hazard linked to chronic illness.

Officials think it can be done in five years because the work is well underway in many countries. It has had them for 15 years.

The WHO is pushing middle- and lower-income countries to pick up the fight, said Dr. Francesco Branca, director of the WHO's Department of Nutrition for Health and Development. Hydrogenated fats are basically vegetable oil which has an extra hydrogen atom attached to its molecules using industrial processes, resulting in a substance that hardens into solid fat at lower temperatures, as the FDA described them.

There are also naturally occurring trans fats in some meats and dairy products.

Legislate or promote regulations or regulations to eliminate these substances from food. What is new is the World Health Organization global initiative to tackle a non-communicable disease, said Frieden, presently the President and Chief Executive of Resolve to Save Lives (an initiative of non-profit organisation Vital Strategies), involved with implementing the World Health Organization campaign.

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The first trans fatty food to hit the USA market was Crisco shortening, which went on sale in 1911. They became popular in the 1950s through 1970s with the discovery of the negative health impacts of saturated fatty acids. They are used by snack manufacturers as they have an elongated shelf life as compared to other kinds of fat. They used them in such fare as doughnuts, cookies and deep-fried foods. Diets high in trans fats increase heart disease risk by 21% and deaths by 28%.

The WHO recommendations recommend not consuming more than 2.2 grams of trans-fat per day (equivalent to approximately 1% of the daily nutritional recommendations).

In the U.S., New York City in 2006 banned restaurants from serving food with trans fats. She advised that consumers read food labels.

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

Denmark is the only country restrictions on trans fats.

"Trans-fat is an unnecessary toxic chemical that kills, and there's no reason people around the world should continue to be exposed", said Tom Frieden, who now leads the health initiative.

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