The World Health Organization (WHO) has released the guide REPLACE, with the aim to eliminate the production, and hence the consumption, of trans-fatty acids from the global food chain. The step-by-step guide will aid national governments to eradicate trans-fats from their countries food supply. Trans-fatty acids are found in numerous food products including hardened vegetable fats, baked goods and fried foods. Consumption of trans-fats increases low density lipid cholesterol and therefore can contribute to heart disease. WHO attributes 500,000 global deaths per year to trans-fat consumption causing coronary heart disease.
WHO recommends that the total trans-fat intake be limited to less than 1% of total energy intake, which translates to less than 2.2 g/day with a 2,000-calorie diet.
REPLACE provides six strategic actions to ensure the prompt, complete, and sustained elimination of industrially-produced trans-fats from the food supply:
- REview dietary sources of industrially-produced trans-fats and the landscape for required policy change.
- Promote the replacement of industrially-produced trans-fats with healthier fats and oils.
- Legislate or enact regulatory actions to eliminate industrially-produced trans-fats.
- Assess and monitor trans-fats content in the food supply and changes in trans-fat consumption in the population.
- Create awareness of the negative health impact of trans-fats among policy makers, producers, suppliers, and the public.
- Enforce compliance of policies and regulations.