World Health Organization plans to eliminate trans-fat from food by 2023

The WHO is the United Nations division to manage and deal with health problem issues around the world.h

Elimination of industrially-produced trans fats from the global food supply has been identified as one of the priority targets of WHO's strategic plan.

The United Nations agency has in the past pushed to exterminate infectious diseases, but now it is aiming to erase a hazard linked to chronic illness.

The intake of TFA results in more than 500,000 deaths from cardiovascular disease, annually.

Officials believe that their goal can be achieved in five years, as work is already well advanced in several countries.

Food manufacturers supplying US consumers are expected to have changed their production processes to reduce trans fat use to negligible levels by next month.

In partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Gates Foundation-funded health organization Resolve to Save Lives, the WHO proposed an initiative to get rid of all "industrially-produced sources" of trans fats.

They are commonly found in foods that are baked or fried at high temperatures, including things like frozen pizza, cookies, pie crusts, biscuits and margarine. Trans fatty acids are also found naturally in certain meats and dairy products.

The WHO recommends that no more than 1 percent of a person's calories come from trans fats.

The World Health Organization announced on Monday that it is mounting a campaign to have unsafe man-made trans fats disqualified from use in all food products.

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"The world is now embarking on the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition, using it as a driver for improved access to healthy food and nutrition".

In India, that number is pegged at about 60,000 deaths, said Tom Frieden, former Head of the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention told Business Line, speaking from Geneva. What is new is the World Health Organization global initiative to tackle a non-communicable disease, said Frieden, presently the President and Chief Executive of Resolve to Save Lives (an initiative of non-profit organisation Vital Strategies), involved with implementing the World Health Organization campaign. They became popular in the 1950s through 1970s with the discovery of the negative health impacts of saturated fatty acids.

Voluntary guidelines encouraging food manufacturers and retailers to cut them from their products has reportedly led to a decline in the level of trans fats in our diet. They used them in doughnuts, cookies and deep-fried foods.

"With the ban, you won't have that same requirement to be looking to ensure no trans fat or the lowest level of trans fat because we know that they have been removed from the diet and in terms of making food choices, it has the potential to simplify".

"The reality is that global food companies have done an unbelievable job reducing trans fats in rich countries but they have largely ignored Asia and Africa", said Prof Barry Popkin, a nutrition lecturer at the Chapel Hill campus University of North Carolina. New York, following Denmark's lead eliminated TFA about 10 years ago.

Unlike places such as the U.S. and Israel, UK manufacturers do not have to place warning labels on foods that contain trans fats to warn consumers.

Trans fats are from two main sources.

The US Food and Drug Administration has asked food manufacturers to stop using trans fatty acids by June 18, 2018, but it refuses to say what progress has been made so far.

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