Study: Trans fats in Americans decreased 58% in last decade

A study conducted by researchers at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that the levels of trans-fatty acids in some Americans decreased by a significant amount, between 2000 and 2009, according to NPR.

The study, published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, said that levels of trans-fatty acids fell by 58 percent within the last decade. The data was based on blood samples from 229 white adults in 2000, and 292 in 2009, said USA TODAY. Follow up research is underway to examine trans fat levels in children, adolescents and different ethnic groups, said Hubert Vesper, the lead author of the study.

In 2003, the Food and Drug administration instated a rule requiring trans fat content to be listed on nutrition labels, which made many food manufacturers rush to substitute healthier oils in their foods, said The Wall Street Journal.

Trans fats are mostly found in fried, baked and packaged foods, but studies linked them to heart disease and obesity, leading to several cities banning their use in restaurants, said The New York Times.

The study shows that the tighter control on trans fats in food has led to a marked decrease in the diets and bodies of American consumers. Christopher Portier, the director of the center’s National Center for Environmental Health, said in a statement that the results of the study, “demonstrate the effectiveness of efforts in reducing blood trans fatty acids and highlight that further reductions in the levels of trans fats must remain an important public health goal,” according to The Times.

NPR pointed out that the FDA allows food containing up to 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving to be labeled as “zero trans fat.”

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