Mexico ranks fifth among the countries with the highest number of coronary heart disease deaths attributable to fat consumption via (or trans fatty acids), with at least 5.82% of deaths due to this cause.
In the list of 194 countries, prepared by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) based on data from the Global Burden of Disease Study (2019), Egypt ranks first, the United States ranks second, and Mediterranean countries such as Spain. Israel and Italy are in last places.
According to a 2020 update of the study, which focused on heart problems, it has been estimated that a diet rich in fatty acids via An industrial product, which accounts for at least 1% of total caloric intake, corresponds to approximately 645,000 deaths worldwide.
At the beginning of the 1990s, it was recognized the harmful effects on health of these substances that are added to food products, above all, to make them more attractive to the consumer.
fatty acids via They increase the risk of coronary heart disease by increasing “bad” cholesterol, lowering “good” cholesterol, promoting systemic inflammation, and impairing the function of blood vessel cells.
Thus, it is estimated that for every 1% increase in the amount of daily calories obtained from trans fats, the risk of death from coronary heart disease increases by approximately 12%.
For these reasons, the World Health Organization (WHO) launched an initiative in 2018 for member states to put in place control policies for these substances in the food industry no later than 2023.
The WHO proposal is for countries to achieve what they call “best practices”, which are legislative measures that limit the production of trans fatty acids in food “in all settings”; Suggested limits are: a requirement that these substances not exceed two grams per 100 grams of total fat in all foods, or a ban on their production entirely and use as an ingredient in foods.
In the case of Mexico, which already has many effective measures on this subject, such as placing frontal labels warning of the presence of these substances, as the World Health Organization explains, in the report WHO countdown to 2023 on the global elimination of trans fats 2022, which already has a best practice initiative ready and just needs to be approved at the congress of the consortium.
Who likes fat?
There are some naturally occurring trans fatty acids, which are produced by some animals, and dairy and meat products may contain small amounts of these fats; But the main dietary source of these fats is man-made: They were created in an industrial process that adds hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid.
Trans fats have many advantages for the food industry: They give foods desirable flavor and texture, they are easy to use, cheap to produce, and last a long time. For this reason, many restaurants, fast food outlets, and food manufacturers use trans fats to fry their food.
However, in addition to increasing the risk of heart disease, trans fats increase the risk of stroke and have been linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.