The World Health Organization has been working on a plan to help countries remove the unhealthy trans fats from the world’s food supply by 2023. The fats, which are found in margarines, shortenings, and some cooking oils are known to boost the risk of heart disease, stroke, and heart attack.
In 2004, Denmark was the first state to ban the unhealthy fats via a law. Some countries soon followed suit, but the WHO thinks that things are moving to slow. In the U.S., for instance, it took the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 40 years to outlaw trans fats.
Meanwhile, across many countries around the world, people and businesses are still using hydrogenated oils for frying or baking food. According to WHO’s numbers, trans fats kill 500,000 people every year globally.
The organization partnered with the Gates Foundation and Bloomberg Philanthropies to make a change. On Monday, the WHO unveiled a guide called “Replace” that instructs governments on how to gradually replace trans fats with healthier alternatives over the next five years.
Trans Fats Literally Kill People
The agency is confident that the change could prevent 10 million deaths worldwide by cutting down the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Trans fat is an unnecessary toxic chemical that kills,
former CDC official Dr. Tom Frieden, who was behind the initiative, said.
It is the first time in WHO’s history that the international body calls for the total elimination of a risk factor for a noncommunicable disease. The organization has taken such strict measures only in the cases of communicable diseases like river blindness or smallpox.
Frieden explained that modern-day disease like diabetes and heart conditions have become deadlier than infectious diseases in many countries of the world.
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