In a set of guidelines issued by the United Nations health agency, trans fats should be eradicated from global food supplies by 2023, potentially saving 10 million lives. They are not perishable as other fats but they possess some detrimental health effects like inducing rise in the levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol and intensifying possibility of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.
Trans-fatty fats are created in an industrial process that adds hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid.
Commercially produced trans fatty acids are found in hardened vegetable fats, such as margarine and clarified butter, and are often found in snack foods, baked goods, and fried foods.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has urged governments around the globe to ban the use of trans fats.
World Health Organization said global elimination of industrially-produced trans fats can help achieve this goal. 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.
It also wants the replacement of industrially-produced trans fats with healthier fats and oils promoted. Food manufacturers need to reformulate products to contain close to zero trans fats.
Assess: assess and monitor the trans fatty acid content in the diet and the evolution of trans fatty acid consumption in the population.
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Enforce: Ensure the proper application of policies and regulations.
As of this year, a ban on trans fats is in place in the US.
"The world is now embarking on the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition, using it as a driver for improved access to healthy food and nutrition".
"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. New York, following Denmark's lead eliminated TFA about 10 years ago.
The method of cooking leads to trans fats in one's food and experts have suggested keeping a check on the same.
"A comprehensive approach to tobacco control allowed us to make more progress globally over the last decade than nearly anyone thought possible", he said, "Now, a similar approach to trans fat can help us make that kind of progress against cardiovascular disease, another of the world's leading causes of preventable death". The agency gave the industry three years to phase out PHOs. The organization wants "to ensure that the benefits [of a ban] are felt equally around the world", but with inevitable pushback from companies that rely on the inclusion of trans fat in their products, that might be hard to achieve globally.