WHO marked Pakistan among the countries still at risk due to the industrially produced toxic trans fats, in the recent status report on Monday.
A new stats report from WHO, Countdown to 2023 WHO Report on global trans fat elimination 2022, claims that almost 5 billion people worldwide are unprotected from the adverse effects of trans fats and the resulting heart diseases due to this, and 9 countries including Pakistan have not taken necessary measures to reduce their consumption.
Trans fats are industrially used in packaged foods, cooking oils, or bakery goods.
Previously in 2018, WHO had set the goal to eliminate trans fats and their associated risks from all the major countries by 2023. However, 9 out of 16 countries with the highest death rates due to cardiovascular diseases are not implementing the best policies while 46 countries have successfully executed the best policies contributing globally to protect almost 2.8 million people.
Pakistan is listed among the 9 countries along with Iran, Nepal, Korea, Egypt, Australia, Azerbaijan, Ecuador, and Bhutan that have not taken adequate measures to reduce the risks of heart diseases associated with the use of trans fats. WHO called on these countries to take immediate action in this regard as nearly 5 billion people are at risk due to this.
As per WHO, up to 500,000 premature deaths occur each year worldwide due to cardiovascular issues. There are no known benefits of these fats and they contribute majorly to the stored fats resulting in cardiovascular events. The CEO of Resolve to Save Lives further said that each government can reduce the preventable death rate by implementing the best-practice policy
The best policy recommended by WHO for all the countries including Pakistan, at risk due to trans fats, involves the national declaration of the maximum safe limit of 2g of trans fats per 100g of food and the national ban on the production and use of partially hydrogenated oil in all foods as it is the major source of trans fats.