Trans fats is a priority target of an agenda that guides the WHO's work from 2019 to 2023, and the organization plans to address this agenda when the 71st World Health Assembly kicks off in Geneva on May 21, 2018.
Trans fats are primarily used in fried foods like fries and doughnuts as well as in baked goods such as cakes, pies, biscuits, pizza, and cookies.
"Trans fat is an unnecessary toxic chemical that kills, and there's no reason people around the world should continue to be exposed", Tom Frieden, president and CEO of Resolve to Save Lives, an initiative of Vital Strategies, said in a statement this morning through the WHO.
Several countries have already imposed limits on trans fats in packaged foods, with Denmark showing a decrease in cardiovascular deaths, the World Health Organization said.
Partially hydrogenated oil, the source of the artificial trans fat, is now vanishingly rare in the United States, and the American food industry will easily be able to comply with the looming June 18 deadline set by the Food and Drug Administration for the industry to eliminate it.
REview dietary sources of industrially-produced trans fats and the landscape for required policy change.
"Multinational companies that make trans fats and have used them as ingredients said they have largely eliminated those oils from foods in the US, parts of Europe and Canada, where governments already restrict their use".
Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.
Consumers didn't miss trans fats when they were replaced in Denmark, the first country to eliminate them, said Steen Stender, professor of nutrition, exercise and sports at the University of Copenhagen. In the developed parts of the world, trans fats are becoming rarer and rarer.More news: Fox, NBC decide less is more to start the fall season
The WHO is now pushing middle- and lower-income countries to pick up the fight, said Dr. Francesco Branca, director of the WHO's Department of Nutrition for Health and Development.
"Why should our children have such an unsafe ingredient in their foods?" asks Dr Tedros.
Denmark was the first country to outlaw industrially-produced trans fats in 2003.
Health advocates say trans fats are the most harmful fat in the food supply.
Create awareness of the negative health impact of trans fats among policy makers, producers, suppliers, and the public.
"Two years ago, IFBA member companies committed to reduce industrially produced trans fat in their products worldwide to nutritionally insignificant levels by the end of 2018".
"The world is now setting its sights on today's leading killers - particularly heart disease, which kills more people than any other cause in nearly every country", said Frieden, president of Resolve to Save Lives, a New-York-based project of an organization called Vital Strategies.
Enforce compliance with policies and regulations. They take the form of partially hydrogenated oils, which are used to replace lard or shortening in packaged products.
The WHO recommends that no more than 1 percent of a person's calories come from trans fats. Replacing trans fats with unsaturated fatty acids decreases the risk of heart disease, in part, by ameliorating the negative effects of trans fats on blood lipids.