World Health Organization calls for ban on trans fats

A Milky Way candy bar is deep-fried in oil free of trans fats at a food booth at the Indiana State Fair in Indianapolis

A Milky Way candy bar is deep-fried in oil free of trans fats at a food booth at the Indiana State Fair in Indianapolis

- Promote the replacement of industrially-produced trans fats with healthier fats and oils.

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.

Former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who now serves as WHO's global ambassador for noncommunicable diseases, credited the ban with reducing heart attacks.

Citing a link to cardiovascular disease, the World Health Organization estimates that trans fat intake causes more than 500,000 deaths a year.

According to WHO, REPLACE provides six strategic actions to ensure the prompt, complete, and sustained elimination of industrially-produced trans-fats from food supply.

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"Industrially produced trans fats are contained in hardened vegetable fats, such as margarine and ghee, and are often present in snack food, baked foods, and fried foods". Some governments have implemented nationwide bans on partially hydrogenated oils, the main source of industrially-produced trans fats.

"It's a crisis level, and it's major front in our fight now", WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a news conference in Geneva on Monday.

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN. "Trans fat is an unnecessary toxic chemical that kills, and there's no reason people around the world should continue to be exposed".

"Why should our children have such an unsafe ingredient in their foods?" asks Dr Tedros.

"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, president of Resolve to Save Lives, a New-York-based project of an organization called Vital Strategies.

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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.

Those hydrogenated fats are often used in processed foods or baked goods, because they don't spoil as quickly as other fats.

Trans fats are finding their way onto too many plates, and they need to be eliminated - ischemic heart disease and cerebrovascular disease have become first and second causes of premature mortality, and the majority of these cases occur in low and middle-income countries.

E nforce compliance of new and existing policies and regulations. Originally popularized after the negative impacts of saturated fatty acids were discovered, trans fats have fallen out of favor as their own health effects have gained prominence. Generally made from soybeans, partially hydrogenated oils are similar in consistency to Crisco shortening and replaced animal lard in many recipes.

Trans-fats increase 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.

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But over time, health studies began to show correlations between trans fat and high cholesterol and heart failure risk.

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