WHO to Implement Global Elimination of Trans Fat

Category: Health


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. solidify / səˈlɪdəˌfaɪ / (v) – to harden or to become solid

    Water solidifies at low temperature.

  2. excessive / ekˈses.ɪv / (adj) – greater than what is needed

    I feel dizzy because I drank an excessive amount of beer.

  3. clogging / klɑɡɪŋ / (n) – the blocking of an opening that makes it hard for something to pass

    Please do not pour oil down the drain to avoid clogging of the kitchen sink.

  4. attribute to / əˈtrɪbjuːt tu / (phrasal) – to say that something happened because of a specific cause

    He attributed his illness to his unhealthy lifestyle.

  5. cut back / kʌt bæk / (n) – to lessen something

    I need to cut back on sweets because I am pre-diabetic.


Read the text below.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced its plan to implement a worldwide elimination of trans fat.

Trans fat is a type of fat produced when vegetable oil solidifies. It is commonly found in processed food and baked goods. Doctors perceive trans fat as the worst kind of fat as it increases the body’s bad cholesterol and reduces good cholesterol at the same time.

Studies suggest that excessive consumption of food with high trans fat content may lead to the clogging of arteries, which raises the risk of stroke and heart attack. In fact, the WHO reported that roughly 500,000 cardiovascular disease-related deaths yearly are attributed to trans fat.

In hopes to eliminate trans fat by 2023, the WHO recently launched the guideline REPLACE, which stands for “Review, Promote, Legislate, Assess, Create, and Enforce.” This initiative entails the development of regulations on trans fat consumption and production.

Meanwhile, some health experts shared their views about this initiative.

According to Lynn James, a licensed dietitian at the Pennsylvania State University Extension, this initiative can make a big difference in improving a population’s health. She explained that cutting back on trans fatty food also means consuming less sodium and sugar. This reduces the risk of having health issues like coronary artery disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and type 2 diabetes.

In contrast, Stanford University medicine professor Christopher Gardner asserted that eliminating trans fat will only lead to finding another type of saturated fat as a replacement. Doing so will not guarantee that the replacement will be a healthier option.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you think that a worldwide elimination of trans fat is possible? Why or why not?
• Would you eat less trans fatty food after reading the article?

Discussion B

• Why do you think some people continue to eat food that is not healthy?
• What do you think should be done to encourage people to go for healthier food options?