Medical

World Health Organization wants trans fats in food eliminated

World Health Organization wants trans fats in food eliminated

A study performed in New York City in 2016, showed that a ban on trans fats there affected a 5% reduction in deaths for cardiovascular reasons and provided savings of $3.9 million for every 100,000 citizens of the city.

"The removal of trans fats from the food supply as an additive counts as one of the major public health victories of the last decade", said Laura MacCleery, policy director for the Washington, D.C. -based advocacy group, Center for Science in the Public Interest.

In 2015, the FDA took steps to finish the job of eliminating trans fats, calling for manufacturers to stop selling trans fatty foods by June 18, 2018 — a deadline that arrives next month. But healthier alternatives that will not affect taste or cost of food can be used, the World Health Organization said. In India, that number is pegged at about 60,000 deaths, said Tom Frieden, former Head of the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention told Business Line, speaking from Geneva. Our daily intake of calories trans fats should be less than 2 per cent.

There are some naturally occurring trans fats in some foods made from animals-like dairy and meat-but the artificial trans fats are the ones the World Health Organization is calling for a ban on. Trans fatty foods became increasingly popular beginning in the 1950s, partly because experts at the time thought they were healthier than cooking with butter or lard.

Trans fats increase the levels of LDL-cholesterol, a well-accepted biomarker for cardiovascular disease risk, and decreases levels of HDL-cholesterol, which carry away cholesterol from arteries and transport it to the liver, that secretes it into the bile. Partially hydrogenated oils are primarily used for deep frying and as an ingredient in baked goods.




The guidelines, he said, will ensure the prompt, complete and sustained elimination of industrially produced trans fats from the food supply and will include recommended legislation; monitoring of trans fats content in the food supply and changes in their consumption by the population; information campaigns to inform the public and policymakers about the negative health impact of trans fats.

Industrially produced trans fats are contained in hardened vegetable fats, such as margarine and ghee, and have for decades been present in snack foods, baked foods and fried foods.

Back in the 1970s, Dr. Willett was one of the first researchers to sound the alarm about trans fats, a stance that earned him scorn from the food industry and even fellow nutritionists.

The fats are generally considered by doctors to be bad for your heart, according to the Mayo Clinic.