TFA

Trans Fat Free by 2023 - A building block of the COVID-19 response

Trans Fat Free by 2023 - A building block of the COVID-19 response
Published 09th November 2020
Author NCD Alliance , Resolve to Save Lives
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Description

COVID-19 has brought to centre stage the most important health issue of our era, largely ignored by policymakers and the public to date: noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), the cause of 71% of global deaths per year. People living with NCDs, and particularly those living with cardiovascular disease are at higher risk of severe symptoms and death from COVID-19. As a result, the urgent need for policy measures to protect cardiovascular health is more apparent than ever. 

This policy brief is an output under the Resolve to Save Lives grant on trans fat (TFA) elimination. The brief situates TFA elimination in the COVID-19 response. Its key messages are: 

  • COVID-19 is deeply linked to NCDs such as heart disease. One in five people worldwide are at increased risk should they contract COVID-19, mostly due to NCDs.
  • NCDs and COVID-19 share many risk factors which could be addressed by healthier diets, including obesity and hypertension.
  • One of the most straight-forward nutrition policies is the elimination of industrially-produced TFA from the global food supply. If all countries removed this harmful compound which causes heart disease, 17 million lives could be saved by 2040.
  • Integrating TFA elimination and other nutrition policies in the COVID-19 response will serve as an historic opportunity to tackle NCDs, support economic recovery from the pandemic and increase health security by making future generations healthier and more resilient to infectious disease.