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Press release

Global Elimination of Deadly Trans Fat Advances with Announcement of New Grant Winners

New York, USA - August 5, 2021

Programs in Burundi, Nepal and Ukraine will champion lifesaving trans fat elimination policies

Today, Resolve to Save Lives, an initiative of Vital Strategies, announced the winners of three grants to advocate for the elimination of artificial trans fat, a harmful additive found in many common foods around the world, including fats and oils used for cooking and baking. Funded projects, which will last for up to six months, will include media campaigns to raise awareness about the harms of trans fat, government stakeholder engagement, research and technical assistance to support governments in developing best-practice policies, and media efforts in Burundi, Nepal and Ukraine.

“There is no level of artificial trans fat consumption that is safe,” said Dr. Laura Cobb, Director of Nutrition and Surveillance of Resolve to Save Lives. “These grantees will improve heart health in their countries by engaging with local policymakers, health officials and the public on the need to eliminate trans fat.”

In Burundi, Village Health Action will conduct a policy mapping and stakeholder analysis, as well as provide technical advice to Burundi’s Drug and Food Regulatory Authority. Village Health Action will also lead a public awareness campaign to educate people on the dangers of trans fat and build broad support for the elimination of trans fat from the country’s food supply.

The Nepal Heart Foundation will help accelerate a trans fat elimination policy by supporting the drafting of a best-practice policy and engaging with the Ministries of Health, Education, Industry, Commerce and Department of Food and Quality Control. They will also lead a public awareness campaign on the health risk of trans fat.

Advocacy Center “LIFE” in Ukraine will conduct a survey to learn people’s understanding of trans fat, and their opinions, which will support policy creation as well as improve public awareness campaigns to encourage support for trans fat elimination.

Consumption of industrially produced trans fat, which can be found in cakes, cookies, biscuits, packaged foods, cooking oils and spreads, is linked to over half a million deaths globally each year. To date, 42 countries have successfully protected their people by adopting best-practice trans fat elimination policies. In 2018, the World Health Organization called for the global elimination of trans fat by 2023 and released the REPLACE action package. However, over 100 countries do not yet have any existing trans fat elimination policies or national commitments in place.

Eliminating industrially produced trans fat from the global food supply could save more than 17 million lives over the next 25 years and prevent at least twice as many heart attacks. Resolve to Save Lives has sponsored trans fat elimination efforts including through previous LINKS Community Program grants, with Bloomberg Philanthropies, and continues to support the REPLACE action package in over 30 countries.

Media Contact:

Steven Chlapecka, Resolve to Save Lives: schlapecka@resolvetosavelives.org, +1.917.623.0246

Erin Sykes, Resolve to Save Lives: esykes@resolvetosavelives.org; +1.646.612.0001

Christina Honeysett, Vital Strategies: choneysett@vitalstrategies.org; +1.914.424.3356

About Resolve to Save Lives

Resolve to Save Lives is an initiative of the global health organization Vital Strategies focused on preventing 100 million deaths from heart disease and making the world safer from epidemics. It is led by Dr. Tom Frieden, former director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To find out more visit: https://www.resolvetosavelives.org or Twitter @ResolveTSL.

About Vital Strategies

Vital Strategies is a global health organization that believes every person should be protected by a strong public health system. We work with governments and civil society in 73 countries to design and implement evidence-based strategies that tackle their most pressing public health problems. Our goal is to see governments adopt promising interventions at scale as rapidly as possible.

To find out more, please visit www.vitalstrategies.org or Twitter @VitalStrat.