WHO aims to eliminate trans fats in foods by 2023

The World Health Organization (WHO) will work towards eliminating the use of trans fats in food production by 2023. Such data was confirmed on Wednesday by the general director of the organization Tedros Adanom Ghebreyesus. TASS reports.

Our goal of eliminating trans fats by 2023 should not be delayed. At a time when the whole world is fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, we must do our best to protect human health. This includes taking all possible measures to prevent non-communicable diseases.

Tedros Adan Gebreyesus

WHO recalls that the consumption of industrial trans fats causes the death of about 500 thousand people due to cardiovascular diseases. According to the organization, 58 states have already “adopted laws that by the end of 2021 will protect 3.2 billion people from these harmful substances.” However, another 100 countries need to take action to completely eliminate trans fats from foods.

Currently, 15 countries worldwide account for two-thirds of deaths associated with the consumption of trans fats. Measures to reduce the use of trans fats have been adopted mainly in countries with high per capita incomes.

Since 2018, in the Russian Federation and the territory of the Eurasian Union, the 2% trans fat content norm for fat and oil products has come into force.

Commercially produced trans fats are found in particular in margarine, ghee, and are often found in light meals, baked goods, and fried foods. They are often used in food production because they differ from other fats in that they have a longer shelf life. The WHO believes that trans fats can be substituted for healthier alternatives without compromising the taste or cost of the food.

Spenders are fats that are found in milk and meat from ruminants (cows, goats) and artificially hardened oils. It is believed that if you do not eat fatty meat and drink low-fat milk, then consuming dangerous amounts of trans fats is difficult. But from artificially hardened, so-called hydrogenated oils, it is quite possible. Indeed, in the process of hydrogenation, up to 50-60% of trans fats are formed. Consuming foods so high in trans fats can cause serious harm to the body and shorten life years.

For the first time, the harm of trans fats was proved by Dutch scientists in the 1990s. Then no one believed their data, because the entire world food industry used hydrogenated “trance” fats. Millions of dollars were spent, the study was repeated in the United States and got the same results: trans fats are the most harmful dietary fats for the human body. Then the movement began to label and eliminate hazardous ingredients from food.

According to the World Health Organization, their use leads to a sharp increase in the likelihood of developing cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, fatty liver, infertility. There is evidence that a diet rich in trans fats is associated with the early development of Alzheimer’s disease. In 2003, WHO called for eliminating the use of fats containing trans fatty acids and limiting intake to 1% of the daily diet.

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