WHO calls for action to totally eliminate trans fat, ‘a toxic chemical that kills’

24 January, 2023

A very important press release from WHO. Extract and a comment from me below. Full text: https://news.un.org/en/story/2023/01/1132732


WHO calls for action to totally eliminate trans fat, ‘a toxic chemical that kills’

Despite recent progress towards eliminating trans fat from food, some five billion people remain unprotected from its harmful impacts, thus increasing their risk of heart disease and death, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday.

Industrially produced trans fat – commonly found in packaged foods, baked goods, cooking oils and spreads – is responsible for up to 500,000 premature deaths from coronary heart disease each year, the UN agency said...

Since then, 43 countries have implemented best-practice policies for tackling trans fat, with some 2.8 million people now protected, a nearly six-fold increase. However, the elimination goal currently remains unattainable.

“Trans fat has no known benefit, and huge health risks that incur huge costs for health systems,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO Director-General.

“By contrast, eliminating trans fat is cost effective and has enormous benefits for health. Put simply, trans fat is a toxic chemical that kills, and should have no place in food. It’s time to get rid of it once and for all.”


COMMENT (NPW): The vast majority of people have never heard of trans fat, and the number of people who are aware of its health risks are probably minuscule. Did you know that it is responsible for killing more than a thousand people a day? I didn't.

WHO is to be congratulated for highlighting a huge and neglected health issue - one that is progressively getting worse as people move to unhealthy 'western' diets.

Citizens, health workers, policymakers - all need access to reliable information about trans fats so they can protect their own health and the health of others.

Dr Neil Pakenham-Walsh, HIFA Coordinator

Healthcare Information For All

Global Healthcare Information Network

Working in Official Relations with the World Health Organization

20,000 members, 400 supporting organisations, 180 countries, 6 forums, 4 languages

www.hifa.org neil@hifa.org