Willett, who was an early voice in the fight against trans fats, further explains that the low cost of a full transition to much healthier fats when taken into account the huge payoff of the move should make the idea a no-brainer.
The fat is harmful on the human circulation system, causing a rise in levels of bad cholesterol and a decline in levels of good cholesterol. Overall, diets high in these fats increase heart disease risk rates by 21% and death rates by 28%, and they're also associated with an increased risk for Type 2 diabetes.
The intake of TFA results in more than 500,000 deaths from cardiovascular disease, annually.
Reportedly, some of the countries across the globe have banned the use of partially hydrogenated oils, which are the key sources of trans-fats. They are often present in frying oils, fried snacks, margarine and shortening since trans fat-based oils have a longer shelf life (don't worry, Canada has almost phased them out entirely in those products). Trans fats still hide in some foods that millions of people eat every day, like coffee creamer, baking products like margarine and shortening, pre-made frosting, some potato chips, pre-made dough and fried food.
"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, who is president of a New-York-based philanthropy-funded project called Resolve to Save Lives. For the record, Denmark had set an example for other nations by becoming the first to take an initiative of restricting the use of industrially manufactured trans-fats in food supply. By the 1970s and 80s, a number of health researchers had started to realize these fats might be increasing disease risk - though research indicating this was often suppressed by the food industry, as Julia Belluz reported for Vox. In 2003, a Danish law that limited the amounts of these fats in food was passed.
The first trans fatty food to hit the US market was Crisco shortening, which went on sale in 1911.
New York City quickly followed Denmark's lead.
The WHO's new policy can't actually ban trans fats in these countries.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of WHO, has stated that the world health agency has requested many countries to make use of the REPLACE action plan for removing trans-fatty acids from the food supply.
It's possible that within five years, a unsafe substance that increases death rates won't be in use anymore.