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Global Trans Fat Elimination Report: WHO

  • 02 Jul 2019
  • 2 min read

According to the first annual global progress report on trans fat elimination issued by World Health Organization (WHO), more than 110 countries still have no regulations against trans fat.

  • Lack of regulations have left around five billion people at risk of industrially produced trans fat exposure in the foods they eat every day.
  • This new report summarizes country actions to ban industrially produced trans fat and makes recommendations for action to achieve the 2023 goal for global elimination. It’s recommendations are:
    • Develop and implement mandatory Trans-Fatty Acids (TFA) limits.
    • Share experiences and best practices in TFA elimination, and consider regional or intercountry networks to enhance actions.
    • Renew support and strengthen commitment for eliminating industrially produced TFA by 2023 to achieve the first elimination of a risk factor for noncommunicable diseases.
  • Intake of trans-fatty acids (TFA) is associated with increased risk of heart attack and death from heart disease.
    • TFA intake is estimated to be responsible for more than half a million deaths from coronary heart disease each year around the world.
    • Replacing industrially produced TFA with healthier oils and fats is feasible without changing the taste of food or its cost to the consumer.

Background

  • In May 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) launched the REPLACE action package to support governments to eliminate industrially produced TFA from the global food supply by 2023.
  • In 2011, India set a TFA limit of 10% in all oils and fats, which was further reduced to 5% in 2015. In December 2018, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India proposed reducing this limit further to 2% and eliminating artificial TFA in the food supply by 2022, a year ahead of the global target.
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