Intended for healthcare professionals


Eliminate “toxic” trans fats from food by 2023, WHO urges

BMJ 2018; 361 doi: (Published 15 May 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;361:k2154
  1. Jacqui Thornton
  1. London, UK

The World Health Organization has called on all governments to use a new toolkit to effectively eliminate “toxic” industrially produced trans fats from food supplies by 2023.

Trans fats, such as margarine and ghee, are believed to contribute to more than 500 000 deaths every year globally from cardiovascular disease, according to WHO.1 It said that diets high in trans fats increase heart disease risk by 21% and deaths by 28%.

Denmark, followed by Ecuador, Iceland, Norway, Singapore, and South Africa have already set limits on trans fats of 2% in all foods. WHO issued a package of actions, called “REPLACE,”2 to enable other governments to follow their best practice lead.

In the UK, the government has resisted pressure from campaign groups to legislate to ban trans fats. Instead, …

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