Since WHO first called for the global elimination of industrially produced trans fats in 2018 with an elimination target set for 2023, population coverage of best-practice policies has increased almost six-fold.
"Trans fat has no known benefit and huge healthrisks that incur huge costs for health systems," said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
"By contrast, eliminating trans fat is cost-effective and has enormous benefits for health. Put simply, trans fat is a toxic chemical that kills and should have no place in food. It's time to get rid of it once and for all."
Trans fat intake is responsible for up to 500,000 premature deaths from coronary heart disease each year around the world, according to the WHO.
"Progress in eliminating trans fat is at risk of stalling, and trans fat continues to kill people," said Tom Frieden, president of Resolve to Save Lives.
"Every government can stop these preventable deaths by passing a best-practice policy now. The days of trans fat killing people are numbered — but governments must act to end this preventable tragedy."
Currently, nine of the 16 countries with the highest estimated proportion of coronary heart diseasedeaths caused by trans fat intake do not have a best-practice policy.
They are Australia, Azerbaijan, Bhutan, Ecuador, Egypt, Iran, Nepal, Pakistan, and South Korea.
WHO names a mandatory national limit of 2 grams of industrially produced trans fat per 100 grams of total fat in all foods as one of best practical alternatives.
The other is a mandatory national ban on the production or use of partially hydrogenated oils, a significant source of trans fat, as an ingredient in all foods.
While most trans fat elimination policies have been implemented in higher-income countries (mainly in the Americas and Europe), many middle-income countries are also implementing or adopting these policies.
The list of countries includes Argentina, Bangladesh, India, Paraguay, the Philippines, and Ukraine.
Best-practice policies are also being considered in Mexico, Nigeria, and Sri Lanka in 2023.
Nigeria would be the second and most-populous country in Africa to put a best-practice trans fat elimination policy in place.
No low-income countries have yet adopted a best-practice policy to eliminate trans fat.