• Michelle Hebert

World Health Organization calls for elimination of trans fats

The World Health Organization has started to push more for the elimination of trans fats. According to CNN, the organization wants a “global elimination of artificial trans fats by 2023.” The organization wants to do this to help save lives and improve people’s health.

On Monday, May 14, 2018, the organization “launched an initiative called REPLACE that will provide guidance for all countries on how to remove artificial trans fats from their foods, possibly leading to a worldwide eradication,” CNN reports.

“This initiative is meant to lead countries in establishing legislation to eliminate the trans fats,” Dr. Francesco Branca, director of the Department of Nutrition for Health and Development at the WHO stated.

On Monday, Dr. Tedros Adhanom, director general of the WHO, summarized how the REPLACE package will be the first time the company pushes for the elimination of a driving factor with non-communicable diseases, CNN reports.

USA Today reports, “the organization on Monday said that trans fats often present in junk food, baked goods and fried items are contributing to the deaths of more than 500,000 people annually who have cardiovascular disease.”

Consuming trans fat raises bad cholesterol levels, lowers good cholesterol levels, increases risk of developing heart disease, increases risk of stroke, and heightens the risk of the development of type 2 diabetes, the American Heart Association reports.

Trans fats are created when vegetable oil hardens in a process called hydrogenation. They also help make foods last longer.

“Legislation or regulatory actions would help, the group said. It also called for an education campaign and enforcement procedures,” according to USA Today.