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 Trans fats should be banned in the UK!

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Pete
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PostSubject: Trans fats should be banned in the UK!   Sun Apr 18, 2010 5:45 am

The Royal Society for Public Health & the British Medical Journal have both come out saying that trans fats should be fazed out within 12 months.
The Food standards agency (the British food safety people & a bit rubbish at their jobs) are still sticking to the idea that they're safe, but as these came out this week & there is an election coming up it might just push a party to commit to abolition?
Both the RSPH & BMJ want a ban by 2011 which would be impressive to see any government move that quickly (read impossible), but give them a few years to faze out & maybe they'll commit.
Here's the blurp:

First the RSPH - A manifesto for health, this is a simple 12 point plan I'll just put number 12 as that's the trans fat one -

Quote :
http://www.rsph.org.uk/download.cfm?docid=0FFF0682-442A-4D2D-A48D349BFC2E0312

STOP THE USE OF TRANSFATS
It has been proven that transfats (industrially produced trans fatty acids) can
damage health. As with cigarettes there is no known safe level of consumption.
Banning transfats from foods is a relatively easy way to help protect the public.
The virtual elimination of transfats through legislation has already been
achieved in Denmark and similar initiatives across the United States and in
Austria and Switzerland demonstrate a growing political consensus on the
issue. When? By 2011.

Here's the BMJ -



Quote :
http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/340/apr15_1/c1826

Published 15 April 2010, doi:10.1136/bmj.c1826
Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c1826
Editorials
Removing industrial trans fat from foods

A simple policy that will save lives

As part of a 12 step manifesto to better public health, the UK Faculty of Public Health and Royal Society for Public Health proposed that consumption of trans fatty acids (TFAs) should be virtually eliminated in the United Kingdom by next year.1 They noted that, "it has been proven that industrially-produced TFA can damage health," "there is no known safe level of consumption," and "banning TFA from foods is a relatively easy way to help protect the public."1 Are these arguments sound?

TFAs are created when vegetable oils are partially hydrogenated to convert large numbers (typically 30-60%) of naturally occurring cis unsaturated double bonds into trans unsaturated double bonds. A high TFA content provides physical and chemical properties that are attractive to food manufacturers, including the creation of relatively inexpensive (compared with animal derived fats) solid or semi-solid fat. The process also destroys labile omega-3 acids ({alpha}-linolenic acid), and this reduces the propensity for fats to become rancid, increases shelf life, and optimises deep frying applications. Use of partially hydrogenated vegetable oils has increased since the 1950s because of these commercial advantages and since the 1960s because of public health recommendations to replace saturated fats (such as butter and lard) with alternatives.

Because mammals and most edible plants synthesise only cis double bonds, TFAs are rare in the natural human diet. Ruminant TFAs, found in meat and milk from cows, sheep, and goats and formed by the animal’s gut flora, are the main natural source. Compared with industrial TFAs, ruminant TFAs contain some different isomers and are generally consumed in lower amounts (about 0.5% of total energy intake). At the low levels consumed, ruminant TFAs have no apparent major adverse health effects.2 3 For these reasons, the 12 step manifesto sensibly focuses on eliminating industrially produced TFAs.

Total and industrial TFA consumption adversely affects several cardiovascular risk factors. In randomised trials, TFA consumption lowers high density lipoprotein cholesterol and raises low density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, the total cholesterol to high density lipoprotein cholesterol ratio, the apolipoprotein B to apolipoprotein A1 ratio, and Lp(a) lipoprotein.2 3 4 TFAs may also promote systemic inflammation, endothelial dysfunction, insulin resistance, visceral adiposity, arrhythmias, and the development of diabetes.2 3 4 Not surprisingly, TFA consumption is associated with a substantial risk of heart disease events, including myocardial infarction and death from coronary disease. This risk is far higher per calorie consumed than for any other dietary macronutrient, including saturated fat.4

Risk occurs even at low consumption. In developed nations, the average population consumption of TFAs is often 2-4% of total energy intake.5 Major sources of industrial TFAs include baked goods, deep fried foods, packaged snacks, margarines, and shortening.2 Paradoxically, consumption in developing nations may be even higher from cooking fat used at home or by street vendors, especially in lower income populations, because partially hydrogenated fats are often cheaper or even government subsidised in many regions.6 7 Notably, average TFA consumption in any nation or region masks important subgroups of the population who are eating much more than the average, including people eating as much as 6-8% of total energy intake as TFAs.

Public campaigns, food labelling, and legislative policies may reduce TFA consumption. It recently became mandatory to include the TFA content on food labels in the United States and Canada, and this led some manufacturers to reduce or eliminate TFAs in some products.8 However, many foods still contain industrial TFAs, especially in restaurants, schools, cafeterias, coffee shops, and bakeries, where food labels are not mandatory. Comprehensive education to encourage such businesses in New York City to voluntarily reduce the use of partially hydrogenated fats was unsuccessful.9 Legislative strategies have been more successful than labelling or education. In both Denmark and New York City, legislation has effectively eliminated industrial TFAs; for example, in New York restaurants the prevalence of use of industrial TFAs has declined from 50% to less than 2%.9 10

What are the potential downsides to legislation? Concerns have been raised that such approaches might increase the use of saturated fats as a replacement; fail because of insufficient supply of appropriate replacement fats and oils; or reduce food availability, taste, or affordability. None of these concerns have been realised in Denmark or New York City. Reformulations that replace industrial TFAs with cis unsaturated fats would maximise health benefits; nevertheless, any reformulation removing partially hydrogenated fats—even if they were replaced with animal fats or tropical oils—would produce health benefits.4 Furthermore, in practice, manufacturers and restaurants generally remove TFAs from foods without corresponding increases in saturated fat.8 9 Thus, we have no evidence that such legislation leads to harm from increased saturated fat. In addition, the experiences in Denmark and New York City show that adequate replacement fats and oils are available.9 10 Seed developers, farmers, and oil processors seem to be responsive to changing demand. As demand for healthier fats and oils continues to increase, global supply and quality will probably continue to rise, while at the same time the partial hydrogenation of oils decreases. Finally, evidence suggests that mandated TFA reformulations do not appreciably alter prices, sales, taste, or availability of foods.9 11 Indeed, the change is essentially invisible to consumers.

Because industrial TFAs are not part of our natural food supply, their regulation does not alter individual consumer choice, being similar to regulations that prohibit adulterated foods. With increasing supplies of alternatives, the commercial and cost advantages of partially hydrogenated oils are now small. Thus, removing industrial TFAs is one of the most straightforward public health strategies for rapid improvements in health. On the basis of current disease rates,12 a strategy to reduce consumption of industrial TFAs by even 1% of total energy intake would be predicted to prevent 11 000 heart attacks and 7000 deaths annually in England alone.2 A national, rather than regional, policy would also reduce the burden on manufacturers and restaurants and, importantly, protect all susceptible populations including children and socioeconomically disadvantaged subgroups. Action by the UK might also produce larger benefits by inspiring other developed and developing countries to take similar measures to protect their citizens’ health.

Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c1826

Dariush Mozaffarian, assistant professor of medicine and epidemiology, Meir J Stampfer, professor of medicine and epidemiology

1 Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115, USA

dmozaffa@hsph.harvard.edu
Competing interests: All authors have completed the Unified Competing Interest form at www.icmje.org/coi_disclosure.pdf (available on request from the corresponding author) and declare that: (1) DM and MJS have no support from any company for the submitted work; (2) DM has served as a consultant for Nutrition Impact, which might have an interest in the submitted work; (3) their spouses, partners, or children have no financial relationships that may be relevant to the submitted work; and (4) they have no non-financial interests that may be relevant to the submitted work.

Provenance and peer review: Commissioned; not externally peer reviewed.

References

1. UK Faculty of Public Health/Royal Society for Public Health. 12 steps to better public health: a manifesto. www.fphm.org.uk/resources/AtoZ/manifesto/manifesto.pdf.
2. Mozaffarian D, Katan MB, Ascherio A, Stampfer MJ, Willett WC. Trans fatty acids and cardiovascular disease. N Engl J Med 2006;354:1601-13.[Free Full Text]
3. Micha R, Mozaffarian D. Trans fatty acids: effects on metabolic syndrome, heart disease and diabetes. Nat Rev Endocrinol 2009;5:335-44.[CrossRef][Web of Science][Medline]
4. Mozaffarian D, Clarke R. 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 2009;63(suppl 2):S22-33.[CrossRef][Medline]
5. Craig-Schmidt MC. Worldwide consumption of trans-fatty acids. In: Sebedio JL, Christie WW, eds. Trans fatty acids in human nutrition. Oily Press, 1998:50-113.
6. Mozaffarian D, Abdollahi M, Campos H, Houshiarrad A, Willett WC. Consumption of trans fats and estimated effects on coronary heart disease in Iran. Eur J Clin Nutr 2007;61:1004-10.[CrossRef][Web of Science][Medline]
7. Asgary S, Nazari B, Sarrafzadegan N, Parkhideh S, Saberi S, Esmaillzadeh A, et al. Evaluation of fatty acid content of some Iranian fast foods with emphasis on trans fatty acids. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 2009;18:187-92.[Web of Science][Medline]
8. Ratnayake WM, L’Abbe MR, Mozaffarian D. Nationwide product reformulations to reduce trans fatty acids in Canada: when trans fat goes out, what goes in? Eur J Clin Nutr 2009;63:808-11.[CrossRef][Web of Science][Medline]
9. Angell SY, Silver LD, Goldstein GP, Johnson CM, Deitcher DR, Frieden TR, et al. Cholesterol control beyond the clinic: New York City’s trans fat restriction. Ann Intern Med 2009;151:129-34.[Abstract/Free Full Text]
10. Leth T, Jensen HG, Mikkelsen AA, Bysted A. The effect of the regulation on trans fatty acid content in Danish food. Atheroscler Suppl 2006;7:53-6.[Web of Science][Medline]
11. Nielsen K. Is the quality and cost of food affected if industrially produced trans fatty acids are removed? Atheroscler Suppl 2006;7:61-2.[Web of Science][Medline]
12. Department of Health. National service framework for coronary heart disease. 2010. www.dh.gov.uk/en/Healthcare/Longtermconditions/Vascular/Coronaryheartdisease/Nationalserviceframework/DH_096623.
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PostSubject: Re: Trans fats should be banned in the UK!   Sun Apr 18, 2010 5:48 am

As a side note I now have to go back & re-write my 'fats' section of my last essay for clinical nutrition now! As we have both these UK health groups calling for a ban! Will it EVER get done? (it's not the writing, that's easy, it's the constant referencing that takes the time!)
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PostSubject: Re: Trans fats should be banned in the UK!   Mon May 03, 2010 8:24 pm

Some years ago in Paris I got to watch health and social conscious people throwing bricks through the windows of McDonalds.
They were protesting the dropping of American bombs onto the wrong countries but I liked thinking that they were also protesting the trans fat content of Big Macs and Quarter-Pounders.
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PostSubject: Re: Trans fats should be banned in the UK!   Tue May 04, 2010 10:48 am

I wonder if in the future they'll be "Health food riots" Very Happy
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