GENEVA (Reuters) – The world could eliminate trans fatty acids industrially produced by 2023, according to the World Health Organization, unveiling a plan that would have prevented 500,000 deaths annually from cardiovascular disease.
Trans fats are popular with producers of fried foods, baked goods and snacks because they have a long shelf life, but they are harmful to consumers, increasing the risk of heart disease by 21% and deaths by 28%, according to a statement dell & # 39; WHO.
"Why should our children have such a dangerous ingredient in their food?", Said Director General of the WHO Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in the statement.
The implementation of the WHO strategy for trans fat replacement, including the promotion of healthier alternatives and legislation against harmful ingredients, would remove them from the food chain and mark an important victory against diseases cardiac, he said.
Several rich countries have already virtually eliminated trans fatty acids by placing limits on the quantities allowed in packaged foods. Some have banned partially hydrogenated oils, the main source of industrialized trans fats, according to WHO.
"Trans-fat is an unnecessary toxic chemical that kills, and there is no reason why people around the world should continue to be exposed," said Tom Frieden, former head of the US Centers for disease control, which now drives Resolve's health initiative.
At the beginning of this month the WHO published its first draft of trans fat recommendations since 2002, saying that adults and children should consume up to one percent of their daily calories in the form of of trans fats.