The World Health Organization (WHO) launched on Monday morning a global strategy to eliminate the use of trans-fats in the food industry, restaurants, and homes.
"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.
Yan Zong-hai (顏宗海), director of Chang Gung Memorial Hospital's Clinical Toxins Department, said that in addition to cardiovascular disease, global studies show that artificial trans fats can also cause obesity, as well as increasing the risk of fatty liver and Alzheimer's disease.
For the record, products such as ghee and margarine contain industrially-manufactured fats, which are found in fried and baked foods. The country has witnessed improvement in the citizens' health and a reduction in deaths by way of cardiovascular disease.
The Guardian: Industrial trans fats must be removed from food supply, World Health Organization says (Boseley, 5/14). 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. Partially hydrogenated oils are primarily used for deep frying and as an ingredient in baked goods.
It is also the substance commonly associated with higher levels of "Bad" cholesterol in the blood, also known as LDL cholesterol, that tends to clump up in arteries and increase the risk of developing heart disease. The consumption of these fats increases the risk of death by 34% and deaths from coronary heart disease by 28%.
REPLACE urges countries to assess and monitor trans fats consumption, establish laws to stamp out trans fats and raises awareness of their risk. In addition, there are indications that trans fat may increase inflammation and endothelial dysfunction.
"The world is now setting its sights on today's leading killers particularly heart disease, which kills more people than any other cause in nearly every country", said Frieden, who is president of a New-York-based philanthropy-funded project called Resolve to Save Lives.
Several high-income countries have virtually eliminated industrially-produced trans fats through legally imposed limits on the amount that can be contained in packaged food. For the record, Denmark had set an example for other nations by becoming the first to take an initiative of restricting the use of industrially manufactured trans-fats in food supply.
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