Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

  • Review
  • Published:

WHO Scientific Update on trans fatty acids: summary and conclusions


The purpose of the WHO scientific review on trans fatty acids (TFAs) was to examine the evidence generated since the 1993 Joint FAO/WHO Expert Consultation on Fats and Oils in Human Nutrition, and to inform member countries on the health consequences of TFAs consumption that have emerged since the last report was released. The new information was deemed sufficient to recommend the need to significantly reduce or to virtually eliminate industrially produced TFA from the food supply in agreement with the implementation of the 2004 WHO Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health. This goal has been accomplished in some countries and cities, by the virtual elimination of partially hydrogenated vegetable oils in the human food supply, replacing them with healthy cis-unsaturated fatty acids. The document provides the evidence base to promote discussion between the international scientific community related to nutrition and health as well as between agriculturalists, food producers, relevant health professionals, national and international food regulatory agencies, civil society and the private sector to achieve the stated goal.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy this article

Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Similar content being viewed by others


  • FAO (1994). Fats and oils in human nutrition. Report of a Joint FAO/WHO Expert Consultation. FAO Food and Nutrition Paper No. 57. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations: Rome.

  • L’Abbé MR, Stender S, Skeaff CM, Ghafoorunissa, Tavella M (2009). Approaches to removing trans fats from the food supply in industrialized and developing countries. Eur J Clin Nutr 63(Suppl 2), S50–S67.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Mozaffarian D, Aro A, Willett WC (2009). Health effects of trans-fatty acids: experimental and observational evidence. Eur J Clin Nutr 63(Suppl 2), S5–S21.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Mozaffarian D, Clarke R (2009). Quantitative effects on cardiovascular risk factors and coronary heart disease risk of replacing partially hydrogenated vegetable oils with other fats and oils. Eur J Clin Nutr 63(Suppl 2), S22–S33.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Mozaffarian D, Willett WC (2007). Trans fatty acids and cardiovascular risk: a unique cardiometabolic imprint? Curr Atheroscler Rep 9, 486–493.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Nishida C, Martinez Nocito F (2007) FAO/WHO scientific update on carbohydrates in human nutrition: introduction. Eur J Clin Nutr. 61(Suppl 1), S1–S4.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Nishida C, Uauy R, Kumanyika S, Shetty P (2004). The Joint WHO/FAO Expert Consultation on diet, nutrition and the prevention of chronic diseases: process, product and policy implications. Public Health Nutr 7, 245S–250S.

    Google Scholar 

  • Skeaff CM (2009). Feasibility of recommending certain replacement or alternative fats. Eur J Clin Nutr 63(Suppl 2), S34–S49.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • WHO (2003). Diet, Nutrition and the Prevention of Chronic Diseases. Report of a Joint WHO/FAO Expert Consultation. WHO Technical Report Series No. 916. World Health Organization: Geneva.

  • WHO (2004). Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health. Resolution of the World Health Assembly. Fifty-seventh World Health Assembly. WHA57.17. World Health Organization: Geneva.

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to R Uauy.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Uauy, R., Aro, A., Clarke, R. et al. WHO Scientific Update on trans fatty acids: summary and conclusions. Eur J Clin Nutr 63 (Suppl 2), S68–S75 (2009).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


This article is cited by


Quick links