WHO calls on governments to implement the six strategic actions: 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; and enforce compliance of policies and regulations.
Eliminating trans fats is key to protecting health and saving lives: WHO estimates that every year, trans fat intake leads to more than 500,000 deaths of people from cardiovascular disease.
Moreover, it's possible to eliminate trans fats without changing the flavor of food, so even if you haven't already been eating this way, you probably won't know the difference.
"We don't eat specific fatty acids", Nestle added.
Multinational companies that make trans fats and have used them as ingredients said they have largely eliminated those oils from foods in the United States, parts of Europe and Canada, where governments already restrict their use. They used them in doughnuts, cookies and deep-fried foods.
The Food and Drug Administration has ruled that partially hydrogenated oils are no longer "generally recognized as safe" or GRAS. Some cities, notably New York City, have also banned them.
World Health Organization director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: "WHO calls on governments to use the Replace action package to eliminate industrially produced trans fatty acids from the food supply. "Trans fat is an unnecessary toxic chemical that kills, and there's no reason people around the world should continue to be exposed".
World Health Organization said action is needed in low- and middle-income countries, where controls of use of industrially-produced trans fats are often weaker.
Heart attacks and strokes fell by more than 6 percent three years after some NY counties banned trans fats, researchers reported last year.
"We call on food producers in our sector to take prompt action and we stand ready to support effective measures to work toward the elimination of industrially produced trans fats and ensure a level playing field in this area", said Rocco Rinaldi, secretary-general of the International Food and Beverage Alliance.
Artificial trans fats, also known as trans fatty acids, develop when vegetable oil becomes hard in a process known as hydrogenation.
It's only been since the 1980s that nutritionists began to recognize that trans fats are as unhealthful as saturated fats, found in meat, butter and cheese. Some governments have implemented nationwide bans on partially hydrogenated oils, the main source of industrially-produced trans fats. That may have been true of the old margarines made using hydrogenated oils, but it's less true now.