World Health Organization Launches Global Campaign Against Trans Fats

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The World Health Organization on May 14 released REPLACE, a step-by-step guide that the agency is urging companies to consult to eliminate industrially-produced trans-fatty acids from the global food supply.

WHO's program, REPLACE, identifies six steps countries can take to reduce trans fats in their food system including government legislation and NGOs working with food and oil manufacturers to help identify and replace industrial fats with healthier options.

In their statement, the World Health Organization proposed a plan called REPLACE which details a comprehensive strategy for eliminating trans fats at the government level.

Artificial trans fats are unhealthy substances that are created when hydrogen is added to vegetable oil to make it solid, like in the creation of margarine or shortening.

Diets of high trans fats increase risk of heart disease by 21% and death by 28%.

Former New York mayor and creator of the city's trans fat ban Michael Bloomberg likened the REPLACE plan to the highly-effective anti-tobacco campaigns that ran in the latter half of the 20th century.

Dr. Tom Frieden, CEO of Resolve to Save Lives, has declared that NY has become the first state in the US that has followed the footsteps of Denmark by eliminating trans-fats a decade ago. The WHO announced a new plan to phase out trans fats from the food supply.

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Trans fat is considered by many doctors as the worst type of fat one can consume.

Scientists in the mid-90's made the discovery that trans fats wreak havoc on an individual's blood cholesterol levels.

The WHO estimates that foods containing trans fats are the cause of 500,000 premature deaths worldwide every year by contributing to heart disease and heart attacks.

Assess and monitor trans fats content in the food supply and changes in trans fat consumption in the population. They insist that healthier alternatives can be used that would not affect taste or cost of food and would represent a major victory in the global fight against heart disease.

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

"New York City eliminated industrially-produced trans fat a decade ago, following Denmark's lead", said Dr. Tom Frieden, President and CEO of Resolve to Save Lives, an initiative of Vital Strategies. According to a study published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, Denmark's cardiovascular disease deaths declined dramatically three years after policy was enforced.

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