WHO: Over 60% population at risk of heart disease due to trans fat

The World Health Organization has released its status report in which the organization found out that almost five billion people globally are at higher risk of cardiac diseases because of their continued exposure to trans fat. Trans-unsaturated fatty acids are considered some of the worst forms of dietary fat to eat, because of their effect on a person's health. Trans-unsaturated fatty acids increase the concentration of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol which is commonly referred to as bad cholesterol. It is abundantly found in the body, but higher concentrations of LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream increase the chances of heart attack, artery blockage, and many other heart conditions. Because of this, the WHO first asked countries to control the levels of trans fat found in packaged food products back in 2018. 

The WHO started its program on a global scale to get rid of trans fat from industrially produced food products. This five-year-long program included various awareness programs while working with the local governments to increase the awareness of trans fat and its health consequences and to reduce its use throughout industries. The objective of this program is to introduce best-practice policies to reduce the use of trans fat. By the end of 2022, the WHO said that the program has managed to protect almost 3 million people globally against harmful trans fat. The WHO said that around forty-three countries have successfully implemented best-practice policies across their population to protect them and make them aware of the trans fat and health-associated risks of consuming trans fat. 

However, the WHO said that many countries still lack the implementation of effective best-practice policies which can reduce the risk of cardiac diseases for their population. According to the WHO, around five billion people, or 60% of the global population are still at risk of many cardiovascular diseases caused due to consumption of food products made using trans fat. This is highly concerning especially when you factor in the number of deaths caused by cardiovascular diseases. CVD takes more lives than any other disease. According to estimates by the WHO, cardiovascular disease takes around 18 million lives every year, higher than terminal conditions such as cancer and HIV. Because of this, the WHO said that the goal it had set while announcing its program against trans fat has not been managed to attain its goal. 

From the list of sixteen countries that have the highest risk of health conditions due to trans fat, nine countries still have not adopted the best-practice policies suggested by the WHO.  The remaining countries are still failing to apply these practices effectively to have the desired outcome which can reduce the deaths associated with cardiovascular diseases. These nine countries include Australia, Azerbaijan, Bhutan, Ecuador, Egypt, Iran, Nepal, Pakistan, and the Republic of Korea. The World Health Organization has said that its efforts are eliminating the industrial use of trans fat and increasing awareness in the population. Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of WHO, said that there are no benefits of consuming trans fat but only the harmful health effects, thus eliminating trans fat is the only option for reducing the risks of cardiovascular disease.