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Wednesday, May 16, 2018, 17:16
WHO plans to eliminate trans fats from global food supply
By Xinhua
Wednesday, May 16, 2018, 17:16 By Xinhua

The logo of the World Health Organization (WHO) is pictured on the facade of the WHO headquarters on Oct 24, 2017 in Geneva. (FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP)

GENEVA - The World Health Organization (WHO) has called for elimination of industrially-produced trans-fatty acid from the global food supply by 2023.

WHO said Monday that trans fats used in fried foods, baked foods, among others may lead to more than 500,000 cardiovascular and heart disease deaths per year.

Other research published by Canadian researchers in the British Medical Journal in 2015 found that eating artificial trans increase heart disease risk by 21 percent and deaths by 28 percent.

READ MORE: China can help WHO improve global health

Industrially-produced trans fats are made through the process of adding hydrogen molecules to liquid fats to convert them into solid fats to become partially hydrogenated oils.

Introduced into the food supply in earlier 20th century, the partially hydrogenated oils were welcomed by food companies to produce fried foods and baked goods, among others, since this kind of oil was cheap, easy to use as well as had a long shelf-life.

However, according to WHO, several high-income countries have virtually eliminated industrially-produced trans fats through legally imposed limits on the amount that can be contained in packaged food, or implemented nationwide bans on partially hydrogenated oils. Denmark was the first country to ban trans fats in 2013.

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 for 2019-2023. 

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